Review: Legacy of the Curse

Deborah Grace White astounded me with her top-notch mermaid series a few months ago, so when I saw a promotional deal on a book from one of the prequel series that was set in the same world, I decided to give it a try. Legacy of the Curse is the first book in The Kyona Legacy trilogy, which is a follow-up to The Kyona Chronicles. I had previously read Heir of the Curse, the first book that was set in the kingdom of Kyona, and thought it was just okay. Her writing has improved exponentially since then. Legacy of the Curse is a lengthy adventure filled with princesses, dragons, and magic that I savored every page of. Deborah Grace White is a master worldbuilder and a prodigy at writing sweet romance scenes.

The main character in Legacy of the Curse is a princess named Jocelyn who has a magical ability that she doesn't want because she thinks it poses a danger to those around her. In that respect, the book is similar to The Autumn Fairy trilogy by Brittany Fichter, but not as dark. Princess Jocelyn has the ability to make people second-guess themselves, which can cause them to make poor decisions if she says the wrong thing by accident. In order to avoid causing trouble, she trains herself to keep her mouth shut in most situations and act like proper demure princess. In keeping to this nature, she agrees to a marriage alliance with a foreign prince who she has never met without protesting. The majority of the book follows her journey to meet her future fiancé. This quest is quickly intercepted by a dragon named Eldrekki who recruits her for a quest her father agreed to before she was born.

Though this book was longer than most of the ones I typically read, it didn't feel long. There was so much going on regarding the growing racism in her kingdom (a reoccurring theme in The Vazula Chronicles), the romance with a boy named Kincaid who joins her on her quest, and the fascinating lore behind the dragons of this world. When Eldrekki first encounters Jocelyn, he behaves in an autistic manner with very little understanding of human emotion or propriety. He recruits her to help him find other dragons to see if there are any left who sacrificed their immortality for the ability to produce offspring, unlike the others from his clan. Following her passive nature, Jocelyn goes along with him with little regard for the danger that the quest might pose to her. That's where Kincaid comes in.

As much as I enjoyed the romance in this book, I did not find Kincaid very likable when he first appeared. He kept bothering Jocelyn when she was staying in a remote mountain village where she clearly wanted to be alone. She tried to politely get him off her back, but he continued to pursue her to find out why she kept clamming up around other people. After a few well-written rescue sequences, he became an asset to Jocelyn's life that remained with her through thick and thin and devoted himself wholehearted to her well-being. While the book did have some old-fashioned "damsel in distress" sequences, they were never done in a way that diminished the heroine's capabilities and were quite exhilarating to read about. Not everyone can be a warrior princess, after all. By the end of the book, I was rooting for Jocelyn and Kincaid just as hard as any other meant-to-be fairy tale couple.

Though Legacy of the Curse is the first in a trilogy and the fourth in the six-book Kyona series, I was pleased that it had a satisfying ending, unlike the books in the Vazula Chronicles, which must be completed in full to get the whole story. I also liked that an older version of Jocelyn was featured in the Vazula books so I had the added treat of seeing how much she'd changed when she got older. I highly recommend Legacy of the Curse to anyone who loves princesses, dragons, romance, and adventure with some time on their hands for a lengthier novel. Due to the time commitment, I'm not sure I will be picking up the other Kyona books, but I am very pleased that I decided to give this one a chance.

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