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Series: Cursed #1
Author: Casey M. Millette
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Parliament House Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
My Rating: ★★1/2
A war rages between kings and clans for centuries, their nations
split and their kingdoms fallen. Caught in the midst of poverty and
bedlam, twenty-year-old Aldor faces a choice. Should he leave
home and start his life anew, or stay and protect what little he has?
Aldor has only made one friend in his life and has never seen a
legendary creature before. As soon as he steps beyond his door, he
finds himself an outlaw, hunted by creatures of pure fantasy.
Forced into joining a team of misfits in a race to recover a sacred,
lost stone, Aldor finds unexpected friendships and adventure. But
just as things start to look promising, disaster strikes, wielding the
unexpected and the terrifying!
Aldor's life will never be the same as he struggles with true feelings
of fear, loss, love, and suffering for the very first time
Here is the link to the Cursed: The Hunter Inside Spotify Playlist:
About the Author
Casey M. Millette, sixteen, has been into writing since she was five. Her love of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia has inspired her to write the Cursed series. Casey lives just outside Atlanta, Georgia with her family and cat, Hudson. You can follow her on the Casey M. Millette Facebook page, Instagram, and her website: www.caseymmillette.com.
It hurts. There isn't a way to describe a stab-wound that justifies it, so that'll have to do. It was a close call –
being pinned down to the floor like an insect to a ruddy scientist's board, nor was it an experience I'd
recommend. If it wasn't for Jethro, once the metal entered my skin, it would've been over within a heartbeat.
Glimpsing Farthan's smirk but unable to hear his words as he screeched—a brittle sound—was enough for me.
It’s been days. Days since the bloody squeals of arrows, chains, and pullies… like the gateway to hell started,
and I’d be lying if I’d told you it hasn't been pandemonium. It’s hard to remember where we came from or
where we’re going, King Jethro, the troops, and I as we cower between the only thing between us and Farthan:
a rock wall not a meter thick. Every time the sun is snuffed out, we see nothing; rock behind, death ahead.
Having Farthan gut me like a fish last night made me wonder –
There wasn’t anything else. The rest of the narrative was splattered with far too much blood for comfort.
Crimson stains seared away the rest of the lettering like a burn charring flesh, little droplets here and there
dotting the i’s for Rowan as a favor. It was the last thing the man had written since the demolishing of
Bishopthrope Citadel. Like most stories, good had won in the end. Shortly after Rowan’s death, King Jethro had
been able to rally his troops to victory against Farthan and the army he'd bred himself. Orcs hadn’t been used as
an asset of war since ancient times, but Farthan had figured how to change that quickly.
The library was a greasy place. That's probably the reason why Aldor never got into books. He hadn't thought it
possible for firelight to look sticky, but the torches lining the walls of the dungeon-like athenaeum certainly did.
Books. Crackling. Papercuts. Old ladies. Ugh, definitely not the best place in the world.
Aldor closed the script gently and shoved it behind the counter again. Two things got him the special privilege
of having access to the real archives hidden in the library: being Rowan's son and having Prince Jonathan as his
best friend. Some people argued that Aldor was only Jon's friend because of the benefits, but seeing as Aldor
didn't have the guts to interact with anyone else, that speculation dissolved quickly.
A good eighteen years had come and gone since his father had passed away, and now all Aldor could do to be
sure Rowan existed once was stare at his blood drippings that dotted the manuscripts. Despite the wounds
carved into the teeth of mountains and the marks searing the moors, it was like Eldoran had fallen asleep. Orcs
hadn’t been seen in nearly two decades and civilians were off their guard. It was like a curtain that had briefly
encircled the world was thrown back. No one second-guessed another’s intentions, the smog of war rendered
the north completely untouched. His heels slapped the library floor, the echo of his footsteps strangely
satisfactory as he strode through the corridors. The light poured in now and poked his eyes, having to adjust to
the brightness of the world above ground.
Aldor was pleased to say that he had more to life than studying ancient scripts. Aldor lived in Dagon, a northern
agricultural realm, for longer than he could remember. Glen, his nurse from infancy, told him so. His world was
composed of the empty plantations stitched together by hedges and nothing else. The hunger for change burned
in his belly whenever he saw the guards ride into the forest that enclosed the tiny bubble he called home. He
hated it. He hated the feeling because it couldn’t be contented.
His head was too busy to notice much of the market, so all the faces, sounds, and sights were only smears of
memory. The market stood in a vast, cobblestone square, circled by dense forest on all sides. The Castle is a bit
monstrous with gargoyles to match, looming several thousand feet high, its spirals tickling the sky's underbelly.
Shops crowded around a dense sea of bodies and noise. There were no gaps between the stalls. The mingling
smells of sweet blood from the butchers, sweat, and spices could've been overwhelming if Aldor wasn't so used
“Oi! Watch it!”
Aldor dipped his head apologetically, slipping through people making him stagger. “Sorry, sorry!”
He slunk along the edge of the town and out of way, moving into the forest. Noises of a different life set apart
from the turmoil of the city enveloped him as he shifted into trees. It was soothingly dark, the harsh eye of the
sun cast a glare on the trees which absorbed it into a dense canopy. The forest, though mostly feared, was often
taken for granted as a sort of protection. It kept things out. The natural wall was thick, and no one ever ventured
in there—except for Aldor, Jon, and the king's patrols, which was a rare thing to see in these days of plenty.
The blue thread of the river gushed through the woods nearby, slicing Dagon neatly in two before moving on to
join the River Everlasting farther down. Parts were more lax than others, and that was exactly where Aldor
found him. The heavy sword on his belt made Jon look more intimidating than he really was. He was a princely
figure. Literally. Jon hated being the king’s grandson, but that wouldn’t stop his ceremony of becoming admiral.
A ceremony which was to take place that night. Aldor was proud of himself because he hadn’t forgotten.
I received a copy of this book via The Parliament House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Content Warning: Death, Violence, Gore, Cannibalism
For having been written by a sixteen-year-old author, this book is a feat! There are several passages throughout this book which are a true joy to read. Millett’s sense of writing in high-fantasy style is there, and mimics a Tolkien-style world. Told from the perspective of a twenty-year-old male protagonist (I know, rare in this day and age) Aldor leads the reader on a massive adventure.
To be a twenty-year-old and not have more than one friend is quite an odd thing. Aldor, however, quickly accrues a “squad” of friends who join him on a long and arduous quest. Aldor, seemingly inexperienced as he sets out, quickly becomes very experienced in fighting and the like, which just isn’t logical.
The most-developed portion of this book are the various creatures and encounters with them. Scenes when these creatures appear are long, well-executed, and very descriptive. This too, is where this book resembles popular worlds like in The Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time, and even Pirates of the Caribbean.
In general, when viewing the story as a whole, it feels disjointed as scenes jump from one action scene to the next without much tying them together in-between. Because of this, the plot was hard to follow at times. I feel like with some editing and adding more of the “in-between” scenes to balance it out, this book would be quite enjoyable.
Sexual content: None.
Violence: Quite a bit.
My Rating: ★★1/2
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