Cover Image: Cursed


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Member Reviews

I'm going to be completely honest, I began this book, but my friend suggested we hold a mini book club featuring this title right before the Netflix series's release, so I'm going to hold off on finishing it until then.

What I did read of it seems great, though - I got hooked on the plot quickly, and I LOVE Arthurian mythology, so I'm sure I'm just going to adore this story - so I can't wait to read the rest of it! (And I'm sure it'll make a FANTASTIC TV series too!)
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As a huge fan of Arthurian lore and legends, I was very excited to read this book. I kept hearing all the wonderful things people would say and I even jumped up with joy when it arrived in my inbox but I feel like I'm not smart enough to read it. I had a hard time getting into it and when I did, I found myself wandering. 

There were really interesting plot points and twists on the original story of Arthur. Thomas Wheeler did an excellent job of using a creative-license to spin a new story. I decided to give 3.5 stars because I really enjoyed how all the characters from the legend of King Arthur came out towards the end and I started to put the pieces all together.

I've handed a copy to my father (a history buff and Arthurian fan) I'll post a follow-up review on what a true (in his own progression) Arthurian fan thinks about it!

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC.
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I unfortunately did not finish this title. I was able to receive a finished copy with more of the illustrations. The storyline showed so much promise but I just couldn't get into the writing style.
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Familiar with the legend of Arthur , I looked forward to this read.  It's definitely for a young audience, even ages 12 and under but it's a fun read.  I enjoyed Wheeler's reworking of the Arthurian myth.  The cover design is gorgeous as are the illustrations and I think it would make a great gift for young teens who are interested in Arthur, Merlin etc.  Enjoy!
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I really enjoyed this! There was so much action and such a strong feeling of adventure! I love retellings so I really enjoyed that aspect of this tale as well! 
Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
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Nimue has been an outcast, fear by her people because of her connection to dark magic. When her village is slaughter she is told by her dying mother to reunite the legendary sword with a sorcerer. 

Nimue partners with Arthur and travels and battles their way through this faced paced action story. 

This was not my normal type of story but I enjoyed it and look forward to the Netflix show.

A big thanks to the author and netgalley
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Many thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy. This did not affect my rating.


I have loved Arthurian lore for as long as I can remember. I was so excited for this book, but it fell flat for me.  The plot sounded amazing and mostly creative.. but it often felt disjointed. Nimue wasn’t as much of a badass as I was hoping. The author is trying to make her something she isn’t. 

This definitely read like it was an adaptation for a screen - which will be premiering on Netflix in the future. 

The art style wasn’t that great… or wasn’t for me - it didn’t add to the story.  

Nothing about this made me want to read a sequel. Will I watch the adaptation? Most Likely.
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved the King Arthur retelling and felt the illustrations really added to my overall enjoyment of this book. I cannot wait for this to be make into a Netflix series so that these character can be brought to life. 

My main issue was that halfway through the book, I kind of got bored. The pacing was great and then it petered out and I was struggling to stay immersed in this world

Overall, though, I enjoyed this book!
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Cursed retells the famous legend, with one major difference. It isn't Arthur the Sword of Power chooses, but Nimue. Nimue belongs to the clan of Fey known as the Sky Folk, and due to a run in with a dark beast when she was young, she has a connection to dark magic which has always made her an outcast in her village. But when the Red Paladins, a section of the Church who have made it their mission to wipe out the Fey Folk, attack her village, Nimue finds herself journeying across England to fulfill her mother's last wish: to return the sword to Merlin. But knowledge that the Sword of Power has surfaced again has spread across the country, and Nimue is caught between multiple forces who all want to claim the sword for themselves - King Uther Pendragon, the Viking Ice King and the Catholic Church, all fixated on the ancient prophecy.

I'm not familiar with Arthurian legend beyond the basics, but I always enjoy a good retelling. The author manages to present the story in a refreshingly new manner, particularly with the concept of the Fey clans. Each clan's culture was very well thought out. When it comes to the magic system, Nimue's strangely powerful connection to the Hidden, much of it is still a mystery, but there was enough information to enjoy the concept. The world building is fantastic, and Cursed is one of those books that make you feel like you're watching it rather than reading it. This makes me extremely curious as to how the Netflix series is going to turn out!

"You're not some Fey girl anymore. You are the Wolf-Blood Witch. You wield the Devil's Tooth. Some will worship you, Nimue, and some will fear you, and some will do everything they can to burn you on the cross. But unless you claim this fate, it will eat you alive."
Nimue is an interesting character to watch as she grows from a girl who wants no responsibility to someone who can unite her people and do some good with the reputation she has unknowingly cultivated with her actions in the name of revenge for her family. She is an extremely realistic character in that she is believably flawed - her recklessness and naivety at times, in particular, had me very frustrated as a reader.

Throughout the story, we come across some very familiar names - Arthur, Gawain, Morgan, Guinevere and more, but their roles in this narrative are anything but what I expected. I really liked Merlin's portrayal, it was a definite departure from how he is traditionally depicted. I also want to know more about the Weeping Monk's backstory and what might have driven him to join the Red Paladins, especially after that startling revelation of his identity.

Overall, Cursed is a well-paced, enjoyable read, and from the sound of the epilogue, this story is just getting started. I'm quite interested to see where this tale goes next. Definitely recommended!
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Thank you Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

I ended up Dnfing this book currently. It didn't have the writing style or pacing that worked with me at the moment. Though the premise does still interest me and I will probably pick this one up again at a later date. 

I found this novel hard to follow in e-book format so I am thinking a published copy will be easier for me to follow. This is my main gripe with the novel, I just wasn't enjoying it enough in the e-book format. 

The characters seem amazing with what I had read. They are very different and unique, they each have their own voices and they do not clash. They work together which is really nice to read in a stand alone. 

This is definitely a situation where it is more myself than the book. I just couldn't appreciate it fully, and hope to pick it up at a later date!
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dnf @ 52%

This read as a book based on a Netflix show, not a narrative first. The writing was slow, and the world building non-existent, making this fantasy world very confusing. It was also far too violent for my taste. Maybe I would have been more engaged if I was more aware of the story of King Arthur or if I was more interested in fantasy, but this book wasn't for me.
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Loved this story! Action packed, full of great characters and a well- developed world.
Can't wait to watcht the TV series!
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3.5 Stars

The premise of this book is really really interesting (it is always nice when sidelined female characters get their moment!) and the book is very visual (the writing not just the actual images).

My favourite part of Cursed was when the protagonist Nimue encounters a bunch of refugee fairies and is heartbroken to see how far they have been displaced from and how she cannot even identify who they all are. This scene was incredibly beautiful and timely with so many concerns about refugees (and also many of us being ignorant of all the different Indigenous groups even in our own areas). The detailing in this moment was so poignant and had such a strong message.

I really only have two primary concerns with this book: the ending and the illustrations. Without getting into spoilers, the ending seemed very rushed and a bit haphazard. The rest of the book was not fast paced and then about the last fifty pages seemed to just have event after event and some of them seemed more to be a way to reach an ending quickly but not necessarily thoroughly and left some key points unanswered. While I really enjoyed the idea of the images tied to the story, I struggled to understand them except when they had captions; however, my main concern with the illustrations is how mouths were drawn. This is a small thing and I'm sure this is just a stylistic choice (I am overly familiar with Miller's artistry) but the mouths are very reminiscent of  Jim Crow-esque caricatures of Black people. While I am sure this was not the intention, this made it very jarring for me.

I really appreciated how the book characterised female friendships. Morgan tends to be vilified in Arthurian stories and I really enjoyed how she was not reduced to a hateful witch and instead was actually a person. "Cursed" does a wonderful job of making all main characters three-dimensional with objectives and relationships and does not just paint Arthur as a saviour who can do no wrong.

This was a very interesting and visual book and I am interested to see where Netflix takes the story (and if takes the plot past the end of the novel).
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I’m just going to go ahead and start this review by saying the only reason why it got even 2 stars is because of all the brutal violence!
There are just so many issues with this book. The storyline jumps all over the place throughout. Just within one chapter, without any warning, you are in 2-4 different perspectives.
There are major plot holes all throughout the book that are brought up randomly and never explained. So the whole time you are just like ?????
There are always spontaneous new characters being introduced with absolutely no story or explanation.
I didn’t even clue in that this was a Sword in the Stone retelling until the last couple chapters! Whoops.
I wanted to DNF at 10% but I muscled through this. It was painful.
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I really enjoyed this re-telling of the Sword in the Stone. It was nice to have familiar characters but also have some new twists and adventures with them. I will definitely be checking out the series when it comes to Netflix next year.
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I thought the plot was brilliant and the characters were well developed. Overall the story was phenomenal, and I wish I could give it a higher rating. But it was abundantly clear that the book was written to gain attention to the upcoming Netflix show. While the story was great, I found the actual writing to be lacking, and at times dull. It was very clearly written by someone most known for screenplays. I can't wait for the show though.
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I'll start by saying I believe this will be an absolutely amazing Netflix adaptation. The characters are interesting, and the plot is engaging. Overall, it's an enjoyable spin on of the round table stories we all know and love.

Nimue is an incredibly strong, and likable female lead. Her unlikely claim to the sword is a welcome twist to the old tale of Excalibur. Unfortunately, the description and back story of some of the supporting characters are not as fleshed out.

I believe Cursed will be strengthened when paired with it's on-screen adaptation. In some areas, the descriptions are lacking. However, these portions could be easily forgiven after seeing the characters' personalities on screen. This series may very well be the next "big thing" on Netflix, especially for high school aged consumers.

I would highly recommend Cursed to my ESL students once the show airs. My older students love a challenge, especially if their experience can be coupled with a live-action version.
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This was just not the book for me and I decided to stop reading it half way through. I loved the cover and the plot sounded so interesting but I feel like I would like this story so much more as the Netflix show. The writing style and plot was a little disjointed and the characterization was a little off for me. Characters seemed to do things and make decisions that just seemed a little out of character from the way they had acted before.
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I absolutely LOVED this book. It was impossible to put down and when I absolutely had to I picked it up even just to read a page any chance I could get. Nimue is an amazing character, everything about her I loved from the start of the book. I really enjoyed the twist on King Arthur and the Knights of the round table and how certain characters were ‘revamped’. I honestly don’t know how to give this book a review except that I recommend it 100% and have no doubts that most people will love it as much as I did. There are twists and turns, a lot of violence (maybe some people won’t like that but I thought it made the story that much better). Super excited to see the Netflix series down the road and can’t wait for the second instalment and see what’s going to happen next.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a complimentary arc of this book.

2.5 stars. 
When I saw the blurb of this book, I was so excited to read it. But the whole potential of this book was wasted because of the writing style. This book was written with the sole purpose of being adapted to a Netflix show and the writer is a screenwriter. You can clearly see that when you are reading the book. It felt like I was reading a script. There was no depth in writing or the characters. The inner monologue were really brief and nothing really left much of an impact on me. In fact, I skimmed most of it. The premise of this book is interesting but it felt like the author was trying to make a bad rip off of Game of Thrones. 

I hope it will look better as a tv show and am excited to see it on screen.
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