For decades, a curse has plagued the great lands of Altana. Beasts of shadows, dust, and blood swallow up every kingdom until even Therilea falls one fateful night when the full moon lights up the carnage for the gods to behold.

With her father’s foresight, Therilea’s crown princess Ara Zypherus escapes with her dying mother and the king’s most trusted commander, Raethin Corvus. Even as they hastily avoid death, their escape leads them to the Rakevan Forest, a blessed, labyrinthine woods with a mind of its own.

As Ara discovers the dying world outside of her kingdom, she must reconcile with loss, destiny, and the truth of the hidden mysteries of her gods.

Ara must decide: will she accept her destiny that the gods gave her, or will she deny the gods their games and forge her own fate?

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I was recently given an ARC of The Shadow Curse from the author, in exchange for an honest review. This is her debut book, the first in the Thraesian Saga.

I love just about everything in the Fantasy genre. And this book had it all; elves, demons, magic, the spark of romance, and action…. I devoured this book. It was great!

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After so many decades of the world being ravaged by the shadow curse, it has finally made its way to Ara’s kingdom. She is forced to flee the castle with her father’s (the king’s) most trusted warriors and commander, Raethin, searching for sanctuary with the mythic Druids. Will she be able to unlock and control her magic?

Along the way, Ara and her party must fight against demons from the Void, who spread the Shadow Curse. Unsure of their motivation, these demons want Ara, over Raethin’s dead body… literally.  Rae is pretty much all things good and light, one of the most powerful mages in the kingdom… will it be enough to save Ara from the Void?

Along the groups journey to find the druids, Ara has these nightmares more akin to visions or an out of body experience. Here she meets this demon who tells her basically “I am nothing.” He is so tender with her, but is trying to kidnap her. Turns out his name is Aerskirus, and he is the Void Kings champion. He will do anything to grab Ara, but what are his intentions?

The romance wasn’t forced, its not all in your face. In my opinion, women don’t need men to be strong and while, yes, I found Ara a bit… needy… she was forging her own way. Her potential is astounding, she is going to make a wonderful mage in the coming books, I’m sure.

Rae is loyal to a fault. He wasn’t going to let something as insignificant as death stop him from keeping his oath to protect Ara. He’s the commander, the King’s top warrior, and he was going to do his job… and maybe develop feelings a long the way?

Speaking of feelings, I was to bring up my favorite character, Aerskirus. He’s a demon monster thing and I’m pretty sure I love him, despite the fact he is a bit on the dark side.    He is “evil” and whatever, but he is so human at the same time. The small glimpses leave me dying for more of him, way more.

As expressed in my Goodreads review, I did feel a bit lost when it came to the curse. There just isn’t a ton of background information about it, about Ara, or the Druids. I feel confident that the author will provide more information in the next book, maybe even a prequel. 😉

Not a huge necessity, but I’d like clarification on their ages as well. Rae is a few decades younger than so and so, but Ara was young when he was promoting to commander. I know usually elves age differently that humans, but it would help me picture the characters better. Is Raethin 80 years old but looks 30? Would that make Ara somewhere in her 60s/20s?

I gave “The Shadow Curse” four stars.    This is definitely a must read for fantasy lovers. Download today from Amazon/Kindle Unlimited.

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