Cover Image: Curse & Craving

Curse & Craving

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

"Were you following me?" "Always."

WOW. Just wow.

I've been in a reading slump recently and this book got me fired up about reading again.

Let's talk about: Rebecca
Rebecca, Becca, or Becs - whatever you want to call her. Imagine being thrust into a Faery equivalent of a world war without any prior knowledge, training, or abilities?? That's what Becs is up against. Don't get me wrong - her naivety and ignorance at the beginning of the book bothered me, but I later understood that the author deliberately did this to help us realize how much Becca changes by the end of her journey.

Let's talk about: Lochlan
At first I was not a fan. Something about how the author portrayed him rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn't that he was standoffish or arrogant - he truly just did not seem like an interesting enough male for me to pay enough attention to. HOWEVER - this quickly changed. I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil the book, but don't give up on him. The story starts off a little slow and then <b>BOOM</b> off to the races!

What Could Have Been Better
I think the only thing that rubbed me the wrong way about this book was how many side characters/side plots there were and how ill developed they are.

We have:
1) Bec's mom & and her dad (who is only mentioned and does not have any dialogue)
2) Ashley, Bec's BFF, who is basically a doormat. She is clearly only a plot device meant to create some tension to further Becca toward conflict. Her character was superficial to the point that all she did was drink wine, eat cheese, and get injured all the time.
3) Merlin, WHO SHOULD BE A MAIN CHARACTER, is strangely rarely in the book. He pops up randomly to spout some B.S. and then disappears before showing up at the end with a "Thanks for saving the world" before leaving again. Talk about unnecessary - the story would have developed the same way even if Merlin was a long lost character or had died years prior to Becca moving to Ireland.
4) Knight, aka Becca's amazing fluffy protector, just gets pushed to the side?? For someone who claims to love him, Becca sure does forget about him a lot.
5) Ronan....Ronan, Ronan, Ronan. I won't say much because I want everyone to draw their own conclusions...But I saw no reason for his character or the drama he brought early in the story - it served no purpose to furthering the plot line of the book.
6) Becca's trauma. I don't want to speak too much on this, but please be aware of potential triggers. I felt this served no purpose other than for us to think another character was evil and the aftermath of her trauma was handled very poorly.

I feel most of my issues with the book will be resolved in the next books of the series - we shall see.

Final Thoughts

This book has it all. It's a twist on Arthurian retelling, norse mythology, Shakespearian literature, and even has a hint of Viking lore. Don't be afraid - it's not overwhelming and I found myself pleasantly surprised with how well everything fit together. Lochlan and Rebecca's love story is not the central plot but it sure is sweet. I love how Lochlan calls Becca his little warrior - it's empowering and not cringey like a lot of other fantasy books. The adventure fantasy is well paced and I found myself curious to see what was going to happen next. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and will be on the lookout for book two in this series.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 ⭐️

Thank you to the author &Victory Editing NetGalley for this ARC!

I really enjoyed the overall plot of the book and found the character development and pacing quite well done. I haven't read any prior works of the authors, so I don't have a benchmark to compare this to, but I just found the writing a bit underdeveloped. There were a few minor typos and stuff, but nothing that overly impacted my enjoyment of the plot!

It's reminiscent of a NA Wicked Lovely x A Court of Thorns and Roses - and following Rebecca discover the world of the Fae while unknowingly having a larger part to play was really exciting.

Going into the book, I didn't realise it was set in Ireland (I try to only glimpse at synopsis so things stay a surprise), and that's one of the aspects I didn't love. Mostly because I am Irish and I found it disjointing to be pulled out of a fantasy world with the mention of towns and cities I'm familiar with. It makes sense to the story, especially considering the type of fairies the author incorporated into the plot are plucked straight from Irish folklore, and I'm sure most readers wouldn't pick up on this as an issue.

I think the relationship went from slow burn to I love you a bit rapidly, and I would have preferred if we had the sequel to continue establishing the couple from this book instead of pivoting focus to some of the side characters. I'll likely still pick up the next one - I just wish we got more of Becca and Lochlan as our protagonists!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing an eARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this read! I've never read anything else by the author, but she writes well, keeps the action moving and did a good job plotting out the storyline. I always love a good fae story, but I do find that at times, they can become repetitive or rely too much on the smut. This probably stems from the mythology and lore around the fae and their realm, faery. Most authors do stick to many of the same traditional fae elements - i.e. Seelie vs. Unseelie, use of magic, glamour, a separate faery realm, etc. The nice thing about Curse and Craving is that while it kept many of those traditional fae elements, it differentiated itself by also weaving some Arthurian legend mythos into the storyline.

Our fmc is Becca, whose just relocated to Belfast for a job. Very quickly, strange things begin to happen and she is quickly thrown into a world where the fae are real and Merlin is not just a legendary figure. A former apprentice of Merlin's has gone rogue and is threatening to unleash unseelie creatures unto earth, promising certain death and destruction. With help from the warriors of the Wild Hunt, Becca comes into her own by harnessing her new found magical powers and learning to literally fight, through combat training.

At first, there appears to be two love interests for Becca in Ronan and Lochlan. Ronan was suspicious to me from the beginning and very soon does something to Becca that is so reprehensible and unforgiveable, I feel the author did quite do this particular piece of storyline justice. I think Becca's trauma should have been explored further, especially in relation to how that affected her budding relationship with Lochlan. I loved Lochlan! When these two finally do hook up, its fire!

This is a quick read and my understanding is that while there will be a series set in this world, each book will focus on a different couple.

Potential Triggers: Mild violence, dubious consent, rape and kidnapping

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book, One of my favourite areas in fantasy ins Fae and so this was right up my street. It was well written with a compelling storyline, good worldbuilding and well developed characters that were believeable.
This book had so much mythology and folklore woven through it from different cultures and that made this a really interesting read.

Was this review helpful?

Rating: 3.5 stars

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC!

I’m usually not the biggest fan of modern fantasy books and prefer full fantasy worlds, but I honestly really liked this one! The world building of Faery was very well done, though I wish we could have seen more of it. I also love how there was a mixture of a bunch of mythology, from the Fae to Arthurian legends to Norse Mythology.

I really enjoyed the overall plot of the book. Having Becca go from a clueless mortal to a Fae who is suddenly essential to stopping a war gave me Feyre Archeron/Clary Fairchild vibes. I enjoyed Rebecca’s dynamics with all the different characters in this world. I especially liked Rebecca and Lochlan’s relationship. It was very slow burn, but I wish it was better developed. I understood that there was a sexual tension between them but I don’t know when and how the emotional aspect came into play in their relationship. She suddenly said I love you and I was very surprised with that.

One critique I have was that the final battle was a little anti-climactic. Considering this final battle took 20+ years of preparation and months of practice, it fell flat and I really expected more. When the “battle” ended I can of just sat there and said “that’s it”?

I’m really excited for Ashley’s book, however, I really like her character, maybe even more than Rebecca! I hope to see more of Faery in that book as well!

Was this review helpful?