Title: Curse of Blood and Shadow
Author: J.M. Kearl
Page Count: 429 pages
Release Date: April 7, 2020
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From Goodreads: Cursed with visions of death. Cursed to die. Cursed to be a bloodthirsty monster. One thing is clear at the Allied Kingdoms Academy, curses abound and no one is safe.
I was born a cursed princess. A curse that makes me hesitant to touch anyone, afraid I’ll foresee their death and won’t be able to stop it.
As royalty of a warrior kingdom, I’m sent to train in weapons and magic at the new academy where dangerous, deadly, and ferocious could describe any of the students, myself included. It isn’t long before I foresee the death of a student and realize I’m not the only one cursed. Something darker, hungry, and murderous lurks in the shadows, and I must find out what it is.
When the ever pompous, arrogant— gorgeous prince from another kingdom suspects I know something is wrong, he tries to convince me he can help. It doesn’t matter that we hate each other, doesn’t matter that our kingdom’s rivalry is ages old, students could die. Prince Zyacus is one of the strongest and fiercest of us all but his hard heart might have one weakness— me, and I might be a target of the creatures out for blood.
Throne of Glass meets Harry Potter! If you love swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers romance, fierce ladies, powerful dudes, magic, swords, and talking cats in an academy setting, then this is the series for you!
Curse of Blood and Shadow is the first book in Allied Kingdoms Academy by J.M. Kearl. I was drawn in to both the main character and the world from the very beginning and the entire story built up from there and I couldn’t get away.
Princess Visteal is part of the first class of students at the new Allied Kingdoms Academy, where the students of the four kingdoms come to study magic, language, and weaponry. She and her group of side characters, Legacy and Taz, make a great group, carrying on their mischief and uncovering new danger at the new school. And of course, what would a new school be without that rival prince who used to pick on you as a kid, now all grown up to torture you some more? Now Prince Zyacus is handsome and after the heart of the princess, but hearts are hard from past heartaches.
Really though, this is not a romance book (although I really enjoyed the three relationships which pop up within the story). Curse of Blood and Shadow is just as equally about the fantasy plot, which I found to be very well laid out. There was a decent mix of politics, lore/species, action, and whodunnit mixed throughout the book. I loved that this was a fairly lengthy book and I was never bored! And let me just say that, as someone who never likes fight scenes of any kind, I honestly read every single duel, battle, training session, etc. I loved everything about this book and I positively can’t wait for the next book!
Note: I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Book soundtrack: Youth by Daughter