The Impostor Queen was one book I couldn’t stop talking about last year. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that I was VERY excited when I heard about The Cursed Queen. While this is a companion sort of novel, it is the second book in what I think is a trilogy so I recommend reading The Impostor Queen first. My review for The Impostor Queen can be found here.
I was sent this ARC from the publisher, this doesn’t change my review.
Diversity: Bisexual MC focusing on f/f romance.
Ansa has always been a fighter.
As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.
Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.
With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.
While I was super excited to begin The Cursed Queen, it didn’t live up to The Impostor Queen and I think that’s because I was overly excited? Let me explain my thoughts more clearly…
- The main character, Ansa was full of fire and violent energy. She was a ruthless, strong character who, at first, wouldn’t hesitate to kill. While I admired her strength, she was brutal/violent/rash to the point that she didn’t feel very realistic? I felt like her personality wasn’t very straight and she kept changing. Not a spoiler but by the ending, she wasn’t as violent and ruthless which was odd to me. Her flaming personality was definitely unique, I can’t name too many characters like Ansa. She gave herself completely to the people she loved, while her beliefs told her that every kill was an honor regardless. While I did enjoy her unique personality, I found it hard to be invested in her story… which could be a result of the pacing.
- For whatever reason, I thought The Cursed Queen was really hard to get into. The pacing felt slow, and as I neared the halfway point, I began to feel like nothing happened. We were taken on a journey but it was just moving from point A to B for what was around 200 pages which is half of the book. I couldn’t get into this one, not like I had with The Impostor Queen. The only thing I really enjoyed was the last fifty pages or so.
- No spoilers BUT the last fifty pages of The Cursed Queen felt as if it belonged with The Impostor Queen. The ending reminded me about what I loved about The Impostor Queen, the writing and story finally began to pick up pace. Sadly, as I was finally getting into the story, it ended.
- I don’t remember much about The Impostor Queen but it seem to have lots of similarities in story, but maybe I’m not remembering things right. I didn’t re-read The Impostor Queen before starting this, yet it felt like there was a lot of parallels between Ansa and Ellis stories. I’m not sure if that was intentional or if I was remembering this wrong. Which brings me to the world of The Cursed Queen had me confused at times. The story was set in a different region, so they had different customs which made it hard to get to know, but after a while things become much clearer.
- The main character is bisexual! I’m not bisexual so I can’t say how accurate this portrayal was, but Ansa’s romance mostly focused on her love and relationship with Thyra. At the beginning of the book, they are already kind of in love, yet they face lots of trials. I LOVED how The Cursed Queen focused less on the romantic aspects and instead focuses on the relationship between the characters, how they fight and lie to one another, but also how they overcome their challenges together. It was so good to see a strong f/f relationship 🙂
Overall, I didn’t like this one as much as I enjoyed The Impostor Queen, BUT I do think the third book will be worth it. With how the ending went, I can’t wait for book three :).