The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
What worked for me: I loved the premise of cursed individuals being forced to be servants of angels. This eternal sentence is given to humans who kill a holy priest in their life time. They are given the charge to protect humans in holy places.
The turmoil and pain of the gargoyle Luc resonated throughout this novel. His attraction to Ingrid and how he fights against it while his heart tells him otherwise kept my interest. This is kind of like a paranormal Romeo and Juliet story. You can't help but think it might end up bittersweet.
Ingrid's struggles and the horror she finds with a personal revelation had me turning the pages, wanting to find out more. Of all the characters in this story, Ingrid had to be the strongest and most multi-layered. She's flawed and vulerable with her personal insights into how she feels no suiter will want her after a scandalous affair in London. She knows it's not 'right' to love someone who might in fact not be human but she's willing to take a chance. Even if, we know, it won't work. Loved that about her.
I also love the Parisian setting at the end of the 19th century.
What didn't work: There are many different points of view throughout this story. I admit I thought this made this story confusing at times. Ingrid's sister Gabby's story felt almost one dimensional. I get that she was supposed to be strong and opinionated but how she throws herself into danger just didn't work for me. Her attraction to Nolan, one of the Alliance, almost was too rushed and forced.
Likewise the brother Grayson torture almost interrupted Ingrid's story. I personally felt this was Ingrid's story. I would have loved to see everything through her eyes, including the revelations about her family and the Dispossessed. Those parts of the book were the strongest. I wanted more.
Still I do think fans of historical paranormals might enjoy this story. Ingrid's struggles between her true nature and her attraction to Luc are what drive this story.
2. Intriguing premise of gargoyles that are protectors
3. Paranormal Romeo and Juliet
4. Strong protagonist
The Beautiful and the Cursed is about two young ladies Ingrid and Gabby Waverly whom are forced to move to Paris with their mother for a few reasons. When they arrive they find that their new home is not what they expected it to be. These two girls also have no idea what kind of things there eyes are soon going to be opened to.
I was crazy hesitant to pick up this book because even though it had a beautiful cover, I had never read a book that was it was set in 1899. The reason this threw me off a bit was because I was afraid that the language would be strange and I wouldn't be able to get into it because of that but I'm very glad I gave this book a shot. I had a very hard time putting it down from the moment I picked it up.
Lets talk characters now shall we? First there was Ingrid, I liked her the most out of the two sisters. I say this only because I felt that I could connect more with Ingrid than I could with Gabby. ingrid was very quiet and too herself which is exactly like me. Gabby on the other hand put herself out there a lot. She knew she was beautiful and definitely not afraid to flaunt it. Some other characters that I became rather fond of were Luc. I mean come on if you've read this book how could you not fall for Luc? I was totally attracted to him the second he graced the pages (yes even though he's supposed to be a scary creature)
The plot? The press release that came with the book seriously didn't lie. I've never read a story like this and I loved every second of it. I enjoyed that Ingrid had powers, because in the beginning she was just a quiet soft spoken girl who was worried about her brother and heart broken from her life back home. Which was cool but then she started discovering her powers which made the book 20 times more interesting.
Now I need to rant about the few things that annoyed me. The first is the book was paced so well until the very end. The last like 4 or 5 chapters felt really rushed for me. I felt really overwhelmed when it came to the end. Everything just seemed to be happening all at once and I couldn't keep up. I kept having to put the book down to process what happened and then pick it back up once my mind was clear. The only other thing that crushed me was the last words between Luc and Ingrid, I won't spoil it but SERIOUSLY?!
Overall, I'm really glad there is another book in the making I need to know what happens next!
The story opens with two prim and proper Londoners moving to Paris with their mother to pursue her dream of opening an art gallery. Gabby, the outgoing and spunky younger sister, and Ingrid, the quiet and studious sister, have come to live in an abandoned abbey that Ingrid's twin brother, Grayson, had chosen for them. When they first lay eyes on the place, they are aghast to see hideous gargoyles marring the rooftops of the abbey as horrific sentries. Little do they know that the horrific decor is the least of their problems and may be the soul reason they were forced into living in the abbey.
Soon enough Gabby and Ingrid come to the realization that their brother, Grayson, is missing. While most would rather sweep it under the rug, the sisters refuse to give up on their brother. Ingrid in particular knows that Grayson is somewhere hurt and scared. She has a special connection with her womb mate and is more determined then anyone to see him home safely once more.
In Gabby and Ingrid's search for their missing brother, they come face-to-face with things only found in books. Stone gargoyles who are set to protect those who inhabit their territory with their lives, demons who reek havoc and misery upon the sisters and the Parisians living around them, and a secret society of humans bent on protecting the humans outside of the gargoyle's duties. On top of everything, Ingrid has started developing mystical powers that she knows nothing about and insights fear and discord among the human society and gargoyles alike.
The Beautiful and the Cursed was a twisted tale of good and evil where even those suspected of having no soul at all, can turn into a hero, and those meant to be heroes can become villains themselves. It twists the folklore of the gargoyles often seen in prestigious buildings like Notre Dame and makes it into a gripping story of heaven, hell, and the in between.
This book was middle-of-the-road for me. It had it's good points and it had it's bad points. There was nothing overtly hypnotic enough to draw me into a book binge, but it kept me reading. I liked that it was something new. No vampires. No werewolves. Gargoyles. Hasn't been done before; at least not in the books I have read. Extra points for originality.
I also enjoyed the connection between Ingrid and Luc. The forbidden love aspect is always great to me, and nothing is more forbidden then an 18th century noblewoman and a damned gargoyle punished to live out life as a protector to beings they would sooner equate to insects. The romance was toxic yet all-consuming. I wanted more!
I would recommend this to those who are tired of the monotony of vampires and werewolves and wish to branch out. Also, those who thoroughly enjoy historical fiction will find it most enjoyable I wager.
Review Posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com