King Markon of Montalier is at the end of his tether. His son, Prince Parrin, is afflicted with a rather nasty curse that slaughters, maims, or brutally attacks any woman with whom he so much as flirts. After the rumour that sweeps around the kingdom, promising that any woman breaking the ‘curse’ will be eligible to marry the prince, there is no shortage of willing volunteers. Unfortunately, there is also no shortage of bodies piling up.
Markon needs to do something, but what? Can a visiting enchantress from Avernse help, or is she simply another accident waiting to happen? And will Markon be able to give her up to his son if she does break the curse?
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
I loved this book and not just because the author spells “faery” the same way as me. I lost count of how many times I busted out laughing because of the snark and sarcasm. Markon is a wonderful narrator who manages to be both sympathetic and entertaining. It was wonderful to have a fresh slant to the “cursed prince” archetype and the author made it amazingly new. Things like the repeated pie-related proverbs were particularly funny.
I read this in two sittings with one brief break for lunch. In case you hadn’t guessed, I was hooked. A clean, fun slant to fairytale retellings, the story sweeps you along like an undercurrent. I was impressed with the degree and skill of the character development the author wove in during the (implied) timeline of only twelve days.
Oh, Markon was adorable. Despite being king, he gets flustered and indignant (mostly internally). When he tries to be flirty, there’s this sweetness and boyishness to it that earns all the <3 ‘s. He is a little jaded and a little cynical, but who wouldn’t be, considering his circumstances? His interactions with his son were precious and the mentions of his past war feats and the woes of his reign helped remind us that he’s been through a great deal.
Althea was an equally anomalous portrayal of the “great enchantress” archetype. Dressing more like a school ma’am than a sorceress, she is nonetheless powerful, strong-willed, and independent. I truly appreciated her portrayal and how the author managed to embrace the feminine aspects of her character.
Most of the other characters come and go, but I mostly enjoyed them as well. The depictions of the fae as being neither benevolent or necessarily evil reminds me more of the original mythology.
Cloistered in my dorm room, I enjoyed this immensely and have already downloaded the next book. I cannot wait to see where the story goes!