Book Review – The Cursed Prince by Richard Amos

Dark Caress #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 219
Characters: Valance/Kormac
POV: 1st
Genre: Fantasy, Series

Faerie. A world caught in a centuries-long war between the seelie and unseelie courts. A war with no end in sight.

Prince Valance is seelie and heir to the Faerie Throne. A strikingly beautiful man with deadly inclinations, deemed cursed by many for his looks and reputation. A Sidhe fae should never look the way he does. Even his own family whisper and shudder and sneer.

Judgemental fools.

Valance doesn’t particularly want the throne, yet he would never let it fall into the wrong hands. Especially unseelie hands. Any creature aligned to the unseelie court is scum of the highest order. Nothing would please Valance more than to see his enemies wiped off the face of Faerie.

Conversely, the other side has the same destructive wishes. Kormac, a human, is one of them. The man enters Prince Valance’s life on a mission to bring him and his family down. Full of loathing for the royals and any seelie aligned fae. Longing to see the current regime crumble.

As much as it shouldn’t be, Valance’s interest in the man is immediately piqued. There is something about the human that stirs the prince’s desires. Something delicious.

But curiosity is a dangerous thing, and so are the deadly movements of players in this game called existence.

Prince Valance’s life is about to be changed forever…

If only he could see it coming…

The Cursed Prince is the first book in a Dark Fantasy trilogy with a slow-burn MM Enemies to Lovers Romance. Enter a world of warring fae and deadly magic, where two souls collide and nothing is as it seems.

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I’m already hooked on this series, and looking forward to see how Valance and Kormac move forward from the nasty events of this book. Dark fantasy is a good description for this book as the author doesn’t pull punches in describing the dark side of this world and its inhabitants. There were several moments that I thought, how will Valance come back from this?

The world building is fabulous and detailed, yet each bit enfolds as it needs to for the plot. It’s also very political with each side doing what it takes to either keep, or take back, control, and it’s understandable why the humans want the seelie to lose the throne. However, there’s an undercurrent that not everything is what it seems and that both sides are working on a truth that has been bent and adjusted to suit the real puppet masters. I liked how the three main sections of society come together to make up this society and how that interaction drives the plot.

Valance is an interesting and layered character. He is brutal and enjoys torture a little too much on one hand, yet respects those beneath him, and follows his own form on justice, on the other. His relationships with his friends show a different side to him, and their fates something that won’t be easily dismissed. I suspect his truth is going to unravel very quickly, and then there’s the mystery of why he looks the way he does. Although he took a while to warm to, I want to see what he’s like out in the world.

I liked Kormac right from the start, although he’s totally in over his head. He goes through a lot in this story, both physically and emotionally. Slow burn is putting it mildly. The plot twist about his and Valance’s connection is cleverly done, and I want to see how it works out, and why they’re on this quest. Like all good fantasies that part of the story is coming together slowly although the story itself hits the ground running and doesn’t stop.

As I’ve come to expect from this author, the first book ends with more questions than answers, and I’m intrigued and already hanging out to find out what happens next.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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