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Curse of Blood and Shadow

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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 magi 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!


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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 magi 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!

30 review for Curse of Blood and Shadow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine Marie

    Note: I received a free soft copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Curse of Blood and Shadow took my breathe away and kept me on edge at every chapter. It's marvelously written that you'll fly off the pages before you know it. Plus, they weren't kidding when they labeled this book as a perfect mix between Harry Potter and Throne of Glass. I really adored how the book was able to give the same experience as being in Hogwarts and witnessing the action in ToG, but still maintained its Note: I received a free soft copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Curse of Blood and Shadow took my breathe away and kept me on edge at every chapter. It's marvelously written that you'll fly off the pages before you know it. Plus, they weren't kidding when they labeled this book as a perfect mix between Harry Potter and Throne of Glass. I really adored how the book was able to give the same experience as being in Hogwarts and witnessing the action in ToG, but still maintained its originality. The world building in this book is easy to grasp, it is flawlessly embedded in the story and you learn more about the world and its inhabitants as you read along. The characters are all lovable and easy to remember and grasp. They each have their own personalities and voices that makes each of them memorable and unique in their own ways. Most of the characters also seem to have a place in the story, they aren't just fillers, they have actual roles in the development of the story, which I appreciate. The main characters in the story Princess Visteal and Prince Zyacus are both easy to love. Especially Visteal, who is a funny, mischievous, and strong lead character, who thankfully, doesn't make dumb choices just for plot conflict. Overall, this book is perfect read for me, with it's steady pacing, flawless world building, and lovable smart characters. Not to mention that this book also includes most of my favorite aspects, such as: magical academy and students, action packed student competitions and experiences, and enemies to lovers main characters. I really loved this book I cannot wait for the next installment and for the journey of Visteal, Zyacus, and the gang.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie P.

    Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸 This is the first book in J. M. Kearl's second series, Allied Kingdoms Academy. Though the title denotes that this book would follow the traditional academy trope in YA books, but it is really a fantastic blend of Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, and a hint of teenage angst that manifests in the best way. For fans of Middle-Grade fiction, this also reminds me of the Magisterium series from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. I absolutely enjoy the premise Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸 This is the first book in J. M. Kearl's second series, Allied Kingdoms Academy. Though the title denotes that this book would follow the traditional academy trope in YA books, but it is really a fantastic blend of Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, and a hint of teenage angst that manifests in the best way. For fans of Middle-Grade fiction, this also reminds me of the Magisterium series from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. I absolutely enjoy the premise of this book - Vesteal is a princess with two fun friends and a dark secret. Her parents, the King and Queen, send her to a brand new academy comprised of students from the three kingdoms. What adventures await? What trouble could there be? As the description says, this work has talking cats, star crossed lovers, royalty, teenagers trained to fight, and action packed into every chapter! The author melds interesting characters with subtle wordplay to create beautifully developed world building and fun action sequences. I loved Atticus and his cat network, he provided some fun sass to break the tension in some scenes. I feel like the action and story really picked up pace about 1/3 of the way through the book. This book was a great read for me! If you enjoy Holly Black, Lauren Kate, or Sarah J. Maas, you will LOVE this book! I would definitely recommend this novel for anyone who loves magic, YA, and a great romance! I found this to be a refreshing new release in YA fiction. I can't wait to see where the series takes these characters! Curse of Blood and Shadow is out on April 7th! Check out J. M. Kearl's other works on Amazon! J.M. Kearl is on goodreads and her website is https://jmkearl.com/. I received an ARC from the author for an honest review of this novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Magic Academy, enemies to lovers, for Harry Potter stans. Found through the author on Tiktok 🙌🏼😻

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Thank you to the author for the gifted copy. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. I love this book! If you enjoy magic, fierce female characters, a hot jerk, visions, or secrets this is the book for you. Characters are sassy, sarcastic, and shifty. If you don't like blood, sarcasm, or the potential to make facial expressions while reading this probably isn't for you. I can't wait to continue with the series. I pretty much binged this book. I'm left wanting more. More of the characters, Thank you to the author for the gifted copy. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. I love this book! If you enjoy magic, fierce female characters, a hot jerk, visions, or secrets this is the book for you. Characters are sassy, sarcastic, and shifty. If you don't like blood, sarcasm, or the potential to make facial expressions while reading this probably isn't for you. I can't wait to continue with the series. I pretty much binged this book. I'm left wanting more. More of the characters, more plot twists, more everything! I'm definitely ready to devour the next book....... now I just have to wait for it to come out. Haha

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay♫SingerOfStories♫

    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 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (Twilight Sleep)

    This book has it all. I’ll admit: I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’d never heard of or read the author. I was drawn in by the tag that it would be perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Throne of Glass...and if that intrigues you too, then I’ll tell you they’re not wrong. There’s a little bit of everything - action, drama, romance, rivalry, magic, fantasy...the list goes on. Plenty of great world building, well-developed characters...I mean, what more can you ask for? I especially appreciated Pr This book has it all. I’ll admit: I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’d never heard of or read the author. I was drawn in by the tag that it would be perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Throne of Glass...and if that intrigues you too, then I’ll tell you they’re not wrong. There’s a little bit of everything - action, drama, romance, rivalry, magic, fantasy...the list goes on. Plenty of great world building, well-developed characters...I mean, what more can you ask for? I especially appreciated Princess Visteal. She was funny but strong, mischievous but not annoying - and she didn’t fall into that classic YA trap of making stupid decisions/choices for the sake of plot development. Definitely refreshing! I can’t wait to read more. Apparently this storyline is a kind of offshoot from Kearl’s Wrath series, so I think I’m going to dive into those for some backstory so I can be fully ready for book 2.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mairy

    I was given a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review• all thoughts and opinions are mine though° An exciting new series release with the children of the characters of Rise Nice work With lots of adventures And mystery flying on the air Also nice cover I highly suggest Note: the best scene was when they were at Vis room ..... I think it described very well how the teen romances advance 😁😭 Can't wait to see what happens next 😭 I was given a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review• all thoughts and opinions are mine though° An exciting new series release with the children of the characters of Rise Nice work With lots of adventures And mystery flying on the air Also nice cover I highly suggest Note: the best scene was when they were at Vis room ..... I think it described very well how the teen romances advance 😁😭 Can't wait to see what happens next 😭

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alara

    The author provided me an ebook copy of their book, in exchange for an honest review. English is not my native language, sorry for mistakes. Before I started reading this book, author told us this has similarities to iconic books such as Harry Potter and Throne of Glass. As another reviewer stated, this book was more like HP and Vampire Academy, which is fine by me because I also liked VA. One of the premises was also enemies-to-lovers, but it was more like rivals-to-lovers, as main character Vis The author provided me an ebook copy of their book, in exchange for an honest review. English is not my native language, sorry for mistakes. Before I started reading this book, author told us this has similarities to iconic books such as Harry Potter and Throne of Glass. As another reviewer stated, this book was more like HP and Vampire Academy, which is fine by me because I also liked VA. One of the premises was also enemies-to-lovers, but it was more like rivals-to-lovers, as main character Visteal and her friends stated it numerous times. Enmity comes from history of their countries, but Visteal and Zyacus never hated each other because of it. I expected slowburn and more rivalry&bickering, but honestly, I was okay with romance. It had classic YA cliches; inexperienced girl and experienced-ish boy, exaggerated natural beauty, jealousy etc. But I am glad Zyacus has never shown toxic masculinity traits, he was protective of Visteal but I saw it as more like protecting your loved ones no matter the gender. He always saw Visteal as his equal, and he mentioned it several times. Jealousy was fine too, both characters are teenagers, we can't expect them to think straight all the time. My main complaint about the book was cover and name. Sure, Visteal has a serious curse and things get bloodier by the end of book, but from cover and name I expected a book with a "darker" tone, instead we got Hogwarts with more action, romance and a little bit country politics. This is not a huge negative though. Main character Visteal is Mary Sue-ish, but it's totally justified. Her parents are great warriors & magic wielders of their generation, and they fought hard to obtain that power, same for their grandparents. It's natural that Visteal inherits their power and receives rigorous training as warrior-princess. Plus, I have a huge weak spot for female warrior characters lol. Writing style was fine and easy to read, book wasn't too long or too short. Though English is not my native language, so I can't review writing style and descriptions well. I'd say if you have at least B2 or C1 level English, you can read this book easily. In the end of book author teased us with new plots and better world building, so I'd definitely read book 2. I expect more political drama caused by Visteal and Zyacus' relationship. I thank J.M. Kearl for giving me a copy of their book. I certainly enjoyed it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    *This review may contain spoilers* . . . . . . . . . . All the Harry Potter vibes with the Throne of Glass Heroine. Visteal is a strong powerful young lady who just seems to not put in as much work as she should. Her powers seem under developed, while her physical combat skills seem slightly above average. I see her really her being an explosive path. Really loved the idea that the Blood Drinkers or Vampires are unknown beings and how they were created is a good change of paths to what I am used to. I liked *This review may contain spoilers* . . . . . . . . . . All the Harry Potter vibes with the Throne of Glass Heroine. Visteal is a strong powerful young lady who just seems to not put in as much work as she should. Her powers seem under developed, while her physical combat skills seem slightly above average. I see her really her being an explosive path. Really loved the idea that the Blood Drinkers or Vampires are unknown beings and how they were created is a good change of paths to what I am used to. I liked that there is a slight hint of Fae, but that whole realm hasn't been explored yet (maybe in the next book?). The whole vibe and flow of this book made for a fun and quick read. It's fast paced with little to no slow plot lines. The world building was done in pieces so while the whole picture isn't there yet, we still have a really good idea as to what is going on. Looking forward to the next! ⭐⭐ Really good pacing and enjoyed the HP undertones. ⭐⭐⭐ Strong relationship bonds that make the reader care about the plot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Would definitely recommend to fellow readers. (Rating may change depending on how well the second book is, if it's great I could see myself reading this again ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Thomas

    I received and ARC of this book. I had not heard of this author before but after reading this I will definitely be reading more from her! I will be honest and say the beginning kind of started slow for me but once the drama started I was hooked!!! Ok so it’s about 3 royal families who have some bad blood due to past events and they decide to send their children to an academy together...what could go wrong?? Or right?? Visteal is your main character who the story focuses on. Her mother is one of I received and ARC of this book. I had not heard of this author before but after reading this I will definitely be reading more from her! I will be honest and say the beginning kind of started slow for me but once the drama started I was hooked!!! Ok so it’s about 3 royal families who have some bad blood due to past events and they decide to send their children to an academy together...what could go wrong?? Or right?? Visteal is your main character who the story focuses on. Her mother is one of the most powerful leaders they’ve ever seen, her father is one of if not the strongest warriors and I think she honestly is trying to figure out to fill those shoes for when it’s her time to likely take on that responsibility. She’s brave, loyal, and knows she has a job to do even just being the princess. Without giving too much away I’ll say this book has a bit of everything...magic, Love interests, fighting oh and did I mention vampires?? I’m looking forward to the next one!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie Buckingham

    I really liked this magical school and its students! If you like magic and mystery this will be a fun read. I was pulled into the story from the start and liked all the characters and the plot. It does not have bad language or any sex so great one to recommend to MS and HS kids or a read along with the parent. Every time I stopped reading, I kept thinking about getting back to the story and finding out what the tough fighting Princess Visteal would do next. Now that I finished I'm excited for th I really liked this magical school and its students! If you like magic and mystery this will be a fun read. I was pulled into the story from the start and liked all the characters and the plot. It does not have bad language or any sex so great one to recommend to MS and HS kids or a read along with the parent. Every time I stopped reading, I kept thinking about getting back to the story and finding out what the tough fighting Princess Visteal would do next. Now that I finished I'm excited for the next book in the series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Marie Clark

    This was actually a really good book. There was a nice blend of romance and action and magic. My only complaint would be that some things about the lore and history that take place in the background were confusing to me. I would have loved to see a map with this book, but maybe we’ll get one in the next one. Would highly recommend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melody Kiernan

    This book is so amazing I couldn't have asked for better! The romance and mystery were fantastic. I love that it continues the story from Rise but you dont have to read Rise series to understand this. I cant wait to see what the next book has in store I'm so excited.🤩🤩🤩🤩 This book is so amazing I couldn't have asked for better! The romance and mystery were fantastic. I love that it continues the story from Rise but you dont have to read Rise series to understand this. I cant wait to see what the next book has in store I'm so excited.🤩🤩🤩🤩

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Eyre

    This is a great start to this series! Well written and action packed this magical read had me on the edge of my seat as I got totally lost in this incredible world that the author has built! A great fun read with an awesome storyline and great characters, this definitely gets my vote!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Montag

    Once again Kearl has captured wonderful characters and a terrific plot. Visteal is a strong and powerful character that leaves you wanting more of her and her friends. Also, the love connection she has with a certain Prince leaves you craving for more interactions between the two. Usually I won't go for books that have Vampires, but this was so incredibly well done that I can't wait for the next installment. Another great thing about this book is that it's a spin off from Kearl's Rival series. I Once again Kearl has captured wonderful characters and a terrific plot. Visteal is a strong and powerful character that leaves you wanting more of her and her friends. Also, the love connection she has with a certain Prince leaves you craving for more interactions between the two. Usually I won't go for books that have Vampires, but this was so incredibly well done that I can't wait for the next installment. Another great thing about this book is that it's a spin off from Kearl's Rival series. It's not that you have to read that series to understand Curse of Blood and Shadows, but so much fun to learn more about her previous characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Koetsch

    I received an ARC. This is my honest review. This book has it all, a beautiful & powerful princess, the bad boy rival prince, betrayal, the struggle for unity between the three kingdoms. Add some magic, and vampires for good measure to this action packed YA love story & it’s a hit! Can’t wait for the next book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    brittany pruett

    This was literally one of the BEST books I’ve read in months!! I could not put it down! The story, the characters the world were all so consuming! I loved the playfulness of the characters and it kept me hanging on to the very last word. The only bed thing is now I have forever to wait for the next one! You will not be disappointed with this book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany O'Barr

    Magic. Warriors. A delightfully enchanted school. Lovable characters. Royalty. Magical pranks on professors. Enemies to lovers. A curse kept secret. Trying to stop another death from happening. Creatures with a craving for blood that lurk in the shadows. What more could I ask for??? It’s SO hard for me to pick a favorite character, each one is likable in their own way! I loved experiencing another part of this world by JM Kearl with her hilarious cats, strong characters, and magic. I flew throug Magic. Warriors. A delightfully enchanted school. Lovable characters. Royalty. Magical pranks on professors. Enemies to lovers. A curse kept secret. Trying to stop another death from happening. Creatures with a craving for blood that lurk in the shadows. What more could I ask for??? It’s SO hard for me to pick a favorite character, each one is likable in their own way! I loved experiencing another part of this world by JM Kearl with her hilarious cats, strong characters, and magic. I flew through the pages, relishing in this world the whole way through. Can’t wait for the next book in this series!!! Visteal- A princess with a lot to live up to. Sees visions of tragic deaths and such a strong main character! I loved that Visteal was different from her mother(the main character of the Rise series) but also had some similar qualities. Legacy- A light and fun character that works hard and is a great friend to her cousin. Zyacus- A total charmer, the Prince of Hesstia, who has a lot of great banter and an eye for the one girl he probably shouldn’t! Loved him. Aric- The Prince of Collweya, he is the biggest sweetheart ever. I just love Aric!! Taz- He’s a fun and good friend who brought me some laughs. He’s never afraid to stand up for his friends! Madison- And she’s back ladies and gentlemen!! My favorite character from the Rise series, she plays a part here at the academy which was so fun for me. One of my favorite books, and my favorite book yet by this author!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mandie

    This was an interesting read. I enjoyed the story line. It was unique and entertaining. It was my first read from this author, and I will definitely be reading more of her books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Mullins

    While the beginning was a little slow, it picked up around the 40% mark. The story line reminded me of Harry Potter. The characters are 16-17, but at times, they felt younger than that. There’s an enemies-to-romantic interest aspect and plenty of teenage drama. I enjoyed the book and would recommend for anyone who likes an easy super natural academy book. Thank you to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    anjuli

    ***3.5*** Overall, it was an interesting and enjoyable read for me. I enjoy academy set ups even with usual tropes depending how it is written. This book has magic, vampires, non-magic folks who can use magic as well. It took me a while to get into it though! There was not a whole lot academy(ish) to it except few things. There were usual classes and teachers but focus was not there. Focus was on the FMC and bit more on the plot. The world building wasn't huge but just enough. I am assuming it is ***3.5*** Overall, it was an interesting and enjoyable read for me. I enjoy academy set ups even with usual tropes depending how it is written. This book has magic, vampires, non-magic folks who can use magic as well. It took me a while to get into it though! There was not a whole lot academy(ish) to it except few things. There were usual classes and teachers but focus was not there. Focus was on the FMC and bit more on the plot. The world building wasn't huge but just enough. I am assuming it is done more in the prequel series (I have not read it). However, it had enough to give you an idea although, I was a bit confused at times. FMC, Visteal, is a princess and is raised by loving parents (king/queen). She grew up knowing her responsibilities and wanting to be a warrior just like her mom. Women in their kingdom are the leaders - I definitely liked that!! However, I found Visteal to be annoying more so than often. I cannot put a finger on it but her character just made me want to slap her sometimes. Maybe, it is just me. She is definitely a good fighter and takes pride in her ability to wield a sword! She has powers but I don't know what powers she possesses besides the 1 major one she has and she considers it a curse. I don't blame her. Read it to find out what?? :) There are three major kingdoms with 3 royal heirs - Visteal, Zyacus and Aric - with few siblings. However, this is NO love triangle - thank small mercies! There is a love-hate relationship between Visteal and Zyacus and it is shown how it became that way. Of course, eventually it nicely leads to more love than hate. I say it is more sweet than anything. I liked Zyacus's character. He did not come across as a douchebag (arrogant at times yes, but he's a prince, right?) like most characters do. Their transition was predictable yet, believable in the context. Side characters like Legacy and Taz - Vis's friends are good and generic. Nothing stood out for me. I liked them. As the story progresses, we find Vampires come into play into the plot. I was a bit confused about the motivation and the whole as to WHY? It felt more like someone had to play the bad guy and vamps were chosen to be the "sword" for it but without knowing the background for it. The cliffhanger is negligible and leaves it open for the next book. It neatly closed on book 1 and leaving more questions and whys for the next book. My personal gripe - I wish authors or publishers - would stop comparing books to Harry Potter and other major/famous books. First, I feel it does disservice to the authors who put in the hard work. Second, it usually never lives up to the hype. Third, I want to be dazzled by the book itself not by what it is like X book/series. ***I received an arc. I volunteered for an honest review.***

  22. 4 out of 5

    Micheala

    ARC received from author I flip flopped on loving or hating this one and it resulted in I like it enough to give it 4 stars. I found the first half and second half almost different books. In the first half, I didn’t connect with the characters. I found myself often skimming the scenes. There’s a lot of scene setting in this one that normally I would be pleased with, but I found it tough with this one. When the plot started to emerge more, it got very interesting. When the description says “Thron ARC received from author I flip flopped on loving or hating this one and it resulted in I like it enough to give it 4 stars. I found the first half and second half almost different books. In the first half, I didn’t connect with the characters. I found myself often skimming the scenes. There’s a lot of scene setting in this one that normally I would be pleased with, but I found it tough with this one. When the plot started to emerge more, it got very interesting. When the description says “Throne of Glass meets Harry Potter”, I would change that to “Harry Potter and Vampire Academy”. I think my main problem with this one is that the author could have done academy, without the linkage to Harry Potter. I say linkage as in copy. The descriptions of the school system, classes, and profs are exactly Harry Potter. There’s a teacher with a similar name as McGonagall. It’s all too much for me. The academy genre has proven they are successful without being like the Harry Potter world. I would also categorize this as more Vampire Academy than Throne of Glass. It’s less fairy fantasy, sword fighting, and more a school to learn to use powers, fight and defend. In the second half of the book, vampires become an issue and start attacking the school. Most vampires are evil but not all. This description I would use to say it’s “like” Vampire Academy; but not a copy of it. This isn’t “like” Harry Potter. Much of it appears copied. But once you get past that, I think the book is really interesting. I liked the idea of the school where all the kingdoms seem to attend to build alliances. What I didn’t get is why the parents are so involved. Send a girl here to build bridges and learn as one with other kingdoms...family is always there to solve problems? Back off a bit. I think the enemies-to-lovers were extremely well done. It was portrayed amazingly when there were enemies, and then as they began to thaw toward one another. We see the hate/love, the jealousy (on both sides), and the heated attraction. I think this helped make the book. With the ending playing out how it did, I hope to see them win over their parents. I didn't hate any character either, especially the main ones. I found them all interesting and compelling, and not boring or cliche. Which is huge in a book like this. Overall, it was a good book. Slow for a bit, but good and interesting. I would be interested to continue the series for sure and will keep an eye out on this author as such.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess Boaden

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the first book since I’ve started reviewing that I have given 5 stars. This book was so clean technically, the story plot is perfect, the integrated aspects of different mythical creatures is hinted and revealed so well. It’s as if a sewer has made the seams completely invisible. This story hooked me from the first line and I was so excited to read more I’ve barely slept these past few days. The characters are well introduced, we have plenty of background incorporated without it breaking This is the first book since I’ve started reviewing that I have given 5 stars. This book was so clean technically, the story plot is perfect, the integrated aspects of different mythical creatures is hinted and revealed so well. It’s as if a sewer has made the seams completely invisible. This story hooked me from the first line and I was so excited to read more I’ve barely slept these past few days. The characters are well introduced, we have plenty of background incorporated without it breaking the flow of the chapters. The relationships within the book are realistic and enthralling. I am completely in love with Zyacus, he reminds me of the first book character I fell in love with. Visteal is strong but has her weakness and her character development was awesome! The character development between these two was suspenseful, intriguing, frustrating and just so enjoyable! All minor and side characters are explored in detail too, the relationships in regards to Visteal are clear and consistent, and the world building just makes sense. This book is flawless and I will be on the edge of my seat until I can read the next book. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity of reading this book. This book by far is one of my favourite books and will most likely be one of my favourite series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    I liked this book, but didn’t love it. It was good...just very basic. It felt kind of like that school report you HAD to write, but didn’t want to. You make your outline and write your paper to include each point, but you’re not passionate enough to elaborate much. So it’s just a basic report. I feel bad, but that’s just how I felt. The most basic book I’ve read in a long time. Again, not bad! Just...it could’ve been so much more! Good plot, good characters, good world...JUST descriptive enough I liked this book, but didn’t love it. It was good...just very basic. It felt kind of like that school report you HAD to write, but didn’t want to. You make your outline and write your paper to include each point, but you’re not passionate enough to elaborate much. So it’s just a basic report. I feel bad, but that’s just how I felt. The most basic book I’ve read in a long time. Again, not bad! Just...it could’ve been so much more! Good plot, good characters, good world...JUST descriptive enough for you to picture everything clearly, but only descriptive enough to get the point across while leaving me feeling like parts were rushed or overlooked. There could’ve been more build-up...Again, it’s like that report required so many words and so as soon as the quota was met, all effort ended. I know a lot of people loved this, but it was just too basic and I get no passion for this. I’d say 2.5-3stars for me. ***edit**** After spending reflection I feel I was a little harder on this book than I should’ve been. I should have reviewed it for what it IS and not what is hoped it would be 😜 If you’re looking for a light, quick read this book is perfect. It’s a great vacation book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Every day I check my e-mail for kindle free book deals. YOu never really know what you'll get so imagine my surprise when. A few days ago I downloaded Curse of Blood and Shadow. I knew by 10% in this was going to be a great read. I knew by 50% not only would I be buying the rest of this series but I'd also be looking into anything else J.M. Kearl had written. This book was very well written. Every moment held my interest. It has all of the great things we love in stories. Royalty, magic, a bad t Every day I check my e-mail for kindle free book deals. YOu never really know what you'll get so imagine my surprise when. A few days ago I downloaded Curse of Blood and Shadow. I knew by 10% in this was going to be a great read. I knew by 50% not only would I be buying the rest of this series but I'd also be looking into anything else J.M. Kearl had written. This book was very well written. Every moment held my interest. It has all of the great things we love in stories. Royalty, magic, a bad to the bone heroine. Enemies to loves, vampires, a magical school... Gosh, I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor, download this book. You won't regret it. Don't forget to give it some love by giving your own review I really feel like Kearl is going places as an author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joey Paul

    I picked this up because the blurb spoke to me. I’m not really a big fantasy reader, but I will say that this book pulled me in and had me stuck int he story turning the pages rapidly to try and find out what was going on, what it all meant, and how it would all end. It was an enthralling ride and will be looking forward to the second book in the series. I adored the characters, the love story and everything in between. I will have to add this author as one to watch and will be glad to jump into I picked this up because the blurb spoke to me. I’m not really a big fantasy reader, but I will say that this book pulled me in and had me stuck int he story turning the pages rapidly to try and find out what was going on, what it all meant, and how it would all end. It was an enthralling ride and will be looking forward to the second book in the series. I adored the characters, the love story and everything in between. I will have to add this author as one to watch and will be glad to jump into other stories by them. Overall, a great read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura Wiltshire

    Read. This. Now. As an avid reader & connosieur of YA fantasy, I was enthralled by this novel. Assumed the summaries I had seen over-hyped the book; but no. The Facebook ads were right - fans of Sarah j maas and Harry Potter will LOVE this magical world & fragile alliances for a wonderful adventure, sweet romances, and true friendship.

  28. 4 out of 5

    April M

    Loved it! Loved the story in the book. I was not sure what the conflict was going to be with the rivalry decreasing. I was not disappointed. Loved the character interaction, and sweet moments. Also enjoyed how the end set up for more crap to happen in the next book. And the world to expand.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a free copy in exchange for a honest review. I adored this book. The characters are sassy, sarcastic and downright shifty. This book kept me on edge and took my breathe away! Can’t wait for the second book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

    Love it! Does it feel inspired by some other famous works, yes but .....it feels like it’s own story. Likable characters, interesting setting and of course a threat to it all. Twists and turns and at the end a good read.

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