Review – The Cursed Crown

The Cursed Crown book cover


The Cursed Crown


The Darker Woods #1


Alexi Blake




My lips hitch up an inch as the hulking, slender man bends down to whisper in my ear. “A divided kingdom without a leader is weak. You will fall. You will fail. You will all die without my kindness, little girl.”
He expects me to falter, shiver, and drop my gaze to the ground like the flock of gentry buzzing around him.
My eyes widen in feigned dismay. “Kindness? Why did no one think to tell me you had any?”
I have to allow him that one concession: Rydekar is fun to tease.
He doesn’t even smile. I don’t think anyone has taunted him. “I have none. You will beg nonetheless.”
I just may, in his dreams. And in my nightmares.

No one was ever born less suited to ruling than Rissa, the thorn of the seelie realm—a half-fae so wild she’s spent the better part of a hundred years in the woods.
For all her flaws, she’s the last of the high court bloodline, and the southern king seems to think that’s reason enough to slap a crown on her feathered head. He needs her to unify the seelie forces. She needs him to forget about that nonsense.
In an effort to aid her people without condemning herself to a lifetime of misery, she sets off on a journey to find the one person with a stronger claim to the throne than hers: the cursed prince.
Sealed in the mountains of the Wilderness, under many spells, the heir of the first seelie queen is the only royal strong enough to protect the fae lands from their immortal invaders.
Surviving the untamed tribes and awakening a thousand-year-old prince seem a lot easier than ruling an entire kingdom where everyone hates her very nature.
And her choices won’t come without consequences.


3stars rating

I’m sad, the blurb was awesome, the cover art was awesome and other books from the author were awesome… so what went wrong here? It had all the elements but just felt very rushed. I’m a sad panda 🙁


The world is amazing and has great potential to create many more beautiful stories.
I did, however, experience a bit of an information dump and didn’t really get a feel for what it meant living in this world or being part of this or that court.

Character development:

The characters were awesome! Rissa, Ryedekar, Khal and all the others were absolutely great… I just didn’t connect to them… at all 🙁
It was when I was about 1/3 into the book that I started wondering what was wrong. I read about the characters, I got some info here and there but I missed the feeling, the empathy I normally feel towards characters I read about.

Pacing & Flow:

A lot is going on and while there is a good balance between all the action and conversations, it felt very rushed. I missed a good flow throughout the story, well, not that’s not true, it was there, but as things were happening so fast after each other, you just didn’t get the time to come to terms with what just came to pass. I often compare this part with an ocean on a normal day, the waves (some bigger than others) hitting the beach (or rocks) and retreating. This felt like the ocean during a hurricane.

The book itself:

The book itself was well written with no (noticeable) errors. There is sex described (if that is important to you).
The book is 226 pages long, spread over 36 chapters, told from Rissa’s and Rydekar’s point of view.

Final Thoughts:

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and all I can say is the book showed great potential. I mean, it really had everything it needed but felt very rushed. I would have loved for the book to slow down and let certain events/feelings marinate a bit before moving on. It was going too fast for me to build up a connection with the characters and this actually made me super sad, because you can just feel what could have been 🙁