A Reluctant King and the Girl Cursed to Protect Him
It’s no secret that I enjoy a good fairytale retelling and Golden Curse by M. Lynn is that. This book exceeded all my expectations. I fell in love with the characters and the world, their plights, and the romance. Y’all I have a book hangover here and it is the best feeling. Golden Curse is about a land where magic is outlawed, a reluctant prince turned king, and the girl cursed to protect him.
Persinette Basile is the daughter of the former king’s protector. Her and her father are in hiding and have been since the king outlawed magic and hunted her people in what is now known as the purge. Persinette has spent years training for one thing: to become the protector of the king’s son Alexandre Durand. It isn’t by choice though. No, she’s cursed, just like her family before her to serve the Durand family. They are tied together in life and death. When the king calls a tournament for his son’s protector, Persinette enters and so starts the story of Etta.
I love Etta/Persinette. She is fierce, fighting for herself and her people. I ached for her as she struggles with her conflicting feelings for the prince. She should hate him, but she doesn’t. She’s drawn to him, and the only explanation for it is the curse….or at least that’s what she believes.
Alexandre, or Alex for short, is just as conflicted. He never agreed with his father’s purge, but now as king he is to uphold the no-magic laws. But how can he sentence someone to die based on how they were born? It’s complex, more than he realized. He was raised to hate all magic, to think it evil. Alex isn’t cruel like his father, which is why Etta struggles. He’s kind to a fault, vulnerable in his new position as king, and head over heels for his new protector.
The plot of Golden Curse focuses on Etta and Alex, their tenuous relationship, and the effects of the curse. M. Lynn uses the first book to set up the world of Gaule. I am fascinated with the history and world-building. I found myself wanting to learn more about Bela’s fall, La Dame and the Dracons, and why Gaule ultimately outlawed magic. Y’all I’d read a history book on this if there was one. It is that fascinating! Then there is the romance. It’s a star-crossed lovers trope which is almost always tragic. Etta and Alex do not escape that. I ached for them. For the lies that Etta is forced to tell and the choices Alex makes, their relationship is waiting to implode.
Overall I loved Golden Curse. I couldn’t sit it down and read it in just over 24 hours. Etta and Alex captivated me, and I found myself holding my breath hoping Etta’s magic wouldn’t be revealed. M. Lynn‘s new series is one I plan to binge this summer. I need to know more about Etta, Alex, and their friends. If you enjoy star-crossed lovers, magic and adventure, I highly recommend you grab a copy ASAP.
***A note for YA readers: This book does contain two closed-door/implied scenes. The romance is a little steamy for younger YA readers. My personal recommendation is 16+.***
*This review first appeared on Mom with a Reading Problem: https://www.momwithareadingproblem.com/2019/05/review-golden-curse-by-m-lynn
- Magical world with a fully fleshed out backstory