The Curse

Sherrilyn Kenyon; Dianna Love
The Curse
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Pocket Books
Release Date
September 2012
Book 3 of Belador Series
Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance

Evalle Kincaid will fight to the death for her supernatural friends.

But when Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love's tough-as-nails heroine reveals her darkest secret, who among those she had trusted will be left standing?

With the freedom of an entire race hanging in the balance, Evalle has two days to make good on a promise that she suddenly has no hope of fulfilling when demonic Svart Trolls invade Atlanta. She takes a leap of faith, seeking help from the one man who recently put Evalle in his crosshairs—Black Ops specialist Isak Nyght. While trying to stop the bloody troll-led gang wars, Evalle unwittingly exposes a secret that endangers all she holds dear and complicates her already tumultuous love life with the mysterious Skinwalker, Storm. But when Evalle discovers she's the number one target in the Medb coven's ruthless plan to destroy all Beladors, the deadly Alterant is forced to make a game-changing decision with no time left on the clock.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Nov 29, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
141 people found the following review helpful
If you're looking for a series with an epic scope and intricate, bold characters, look no further than the Belador series. This new addition provides all the action and intrigue that readers have come to expect, along with the promise of forbidden passion and the development of the most unlikely, and yet most touching, of paranormal love affairs.

Half Alterant, half Belador, Evalle Kincaid made a pact with her goddess, Macha, to save her freedom, and now the bill is coming due. If she wants to live to fight another day, she must convince her fellow Alterants (creatures with mysterious ability to transform into beasts) to reveal themselves to Macha in order to be acknowledged as a race. But Tristan, the key to her plan, isn't answering her calls for help, and Storm, the Skinwalker is still missing. To make matters worse, gang wars are erupting throughout Atlanta, made all the worse by the presence of Svart Trolls (not the kind that live under bridges—more like the kind that live in your nightmares).

Desperate for new defenses, the Beladors (warriors devoted to protecting humans) send Evalle to negotiate with Nyght Industries, a black ops unit who might very well have the technology to kill the trolls. Isak Nyght, the leader of the tactical team, is one of the few people who is actually willing to take her on. But despite the chemistry sparking between them, the truth of the matter is that Isak's best friend was killed by an Alterant, and he has made it his life's goal to wipe out the entire race.

With the Beladors once again facing a war with the Medb and the battle against the trolls escalating, Evalle finds herself torn between her two identities. Her relationship with the brooding Isak is unlike any she's ever had, but no one has touched her heart like Storm. With his reappearance, Evalle is forced to confront all her darkest personal fears, including whether he will be willing to fight for their future when he knows what she is capable of becoming…

With each book, the various interwoven stories become increasingly intricate, and each character grows increasingly complex, making it difficult to do justice to this book alone. Suffice it to say that Dianna Love and Sherrilyn Kenyon have put an enormous amount of effort into creating the world of this series and the many different species that inhabit it. From Tzader Burke and his impossible love for Brina—and her dubious plan to win him back—to the powerful Vladimir Quinn and his growing concerns over his family and his own abilities, each plotline in this book feels vital to the whole epic story unfolding, and each is highly enjoyable.

As always, though, Evalle is the heart of this book. Her strength and powers make her formidable, but it's her wonderful spirit and her emotional growth that makes her such a phenomenal heroine. As her relationship with Storm grows, her emotional vulnerabilities become more apparent, making her far more complex and engaging. In this book, we also get to see her interact with Isak, a man who isn't as willing to tread lightly around her feelings and trust issues, but who awakens a side of Evalle that has been very well hidden up until now. I found Isak and his own personal conflicts fascinating. His obvious interest in Evalle gave this book an unexpected spark, and their battle of wills was a treat to watch.

The action picks up on page one and seldom lets up for more than a moment. The pulse-pounding fights and high-stakes schemes keep the story flying, but also bring the more quiet moments, especially those between Evalle and Storm, into sharper focus. There were times when I would have liked a little more explanation about the details of the world (or a reminder of the events of the last two books), and times also when the multiple plot lines seemed a little overwhelming. However, this book is laying a great deal of groundwork for the series' future, and most of the incidents and characters mentioned will no doubt prove vital in the adventures that are to come.

Newcomers are probably not going to get as much out of this book without having read the previous two books in this series. I promise it's worth starting from the beginning, to see Evalle's development and to see how her relationships with her fellow Beladors and with Storm have evolved to the point they are now. This is a series to be savored by urban fantasy and paranormal romance fans alike, and I have a feeling that the best is still yet to come.
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