Book Review: Kingdoms of the Cursed (The High and Faraway Book 2) by Greg Keyes

 
 
When Errol gets dragged back to the Kingdoms, Veronica and Aster follow, Aster still set on figuring out a way to save her father as well. But things are worse than ever in the Kingdoms, the evil thing that was formerly Aster's teacher has far more power, the friends all get separated, and they still have to figure out how to break the curse on the realms.

Book Review: Kingdoms of the Cursed (The High and Faraway Book 2) by Greg Keyes | fantasy, high fantasy, reading, books
Title: Kingdoms of the Cursed
Author:
Publisher:
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 360
My Rating:
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher
 

Review:

*I received an ecopy of this book via Edelweiss. This has not influenced my review.*

I’m not sure what to say about this book. It wasn’t bad, but it went off the rails a bit too much for my taste.

The first book had a lot of strangeness and randomness, but I didn’t mind because the characters and the relationships between them were great and carried the book through. I could enjoy just being along for the ride. In this book though, the characters were mostly separated, and most things that happened in the plot just felt so random or unnecessary or convenient. I felt like I was just being thrown from one strange thing to the next. It made the relationships and emotions between the characters seem more forced too since I didn’t get to see them interacting much, and their interactions were kinda choppy.

I know that all sounds really harsh, but there were good things about this book too. It moved the overall story forward. It gave the readers answers about certain things and let us learn more about certain characters (like Aster’s father and the guidance counselor). There were some cute and funny moments. There was again a lot of creativity in this world the author has created. And I do like the characters individually. The erratic plot just made this one too difficult for me to really get into though. It may be more enjoyable for anyone who likes really unique fantasy worlds with lots of strange and unpredictable happenings.

*Trigger Warning*: Sexual abuse/assault (a man sexually assaulting a teen girl with plans to rape/kill her and also touching/kissing her while she sleeps).

 
 
Book Blurb

Three young friends must navigate dangerous magical worlds―and their own inner selves―in this sweeping fantasy from Greg Keyes, the sequel to The Reign of the Departed.

Errol Greyson is awake and back in his own body, thanks to his friends Aster the witch and Veronica the half-dead girl. Unfortunately, due to the attempted suicide that led to his months-long coma and temporary reincarnation in Aster’s wooden automaton in the first place, he’s also in a mental hospital.

But when the last person Errol expects breaks him out and forces him back to the magical Kingdoms, he has no other option but to attempt to undo a deadly curse threatening reality itself, in hopes of returning the realm to equilibrium. It’s dangerous business, especially in Errol’s merely-human form, weakened from months in bed.

Fearing for their friend’s life, Aster and Veronica follow, but are quickly separated. Aster is captured by an ancient evil―the source of the curse―while Veronica confronts a mysterious admirer, her own evolving nature, and the dark spirit that murdered her years earlier.

As vast armies collide and dragons take wing, the friends must find each other―and themselves―again.

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  1. Greg

    Sometimes it’s hard when characters are separated. The plot does sound erratic, like you said, but glads there were some good parts too. I do like the cover! :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is tough when characters are separated or one isn’t around for a book or something cuz, as the reader, the characters or dynamic is often my favorite thing. But yeah, it wasn’t all bad! Love the cover too!

  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    That’s a shame this wasn’t as good as the first book in the series. I think all of the randomness with the plot would have bothered me too. It almost sounds like it was trying too hard to be random and quirky.

  3. Olivia Roach

    I like strange fantasy worlds, but they are very hard to get right. If not handled properly you can end up feeling how you feel here, where nothing really makes sense and therefore the plot feels a bit too random. I know I got that with basically every Alice in Wonderland retelling, and the original classic… Until I read Heartless by Marissa Meyer where she balances everything perfectly!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Agreed. I didn’t think of the comparison to Alice, but yes, kind of like that. Although I enjoyed this much more because I absolutely hate Alice in Wonderland lol.