In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels.
Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him.
But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.
A kind of light-ish fantasy. There wasn't really that much worldbuilding, fine there are different kingdoms and a sea, and one kingdom likes to conquer others..ok. Not what I call lots of worldbuilding. And the magic part, I guess it's hereditary? How do people get different powers? I do not know, I was not told. I was just told the bad kingdoms killed everyone with magic and another continent did not. Still, good.
The story then. A curse is making people into bloodthirsty beings. There is one way to stop it so the magic peeps comes to the bad kingdom to get a prince. The one prince who can stop it, then one who has magic. The judgmental idiot who judges before seeing facts, gods that one part that happened made me so mad. I would have beaten him to a bloody pulp. I could take the idiot things he said but that one part. Yes I do NOT like Harkeld.
The magicians, shapeshifters are a nice group. Innis is the one in focus, she is young and being built as Harkeld's love interest. She thinks he has hidden depths, and sure he has, just as he stops being an idiot. I liked his friend more.
A lot of people are hunting for them.There is action and at the end I did want more. Sure I complained about stuff, but it was light and fun and I will read more. I almost finished in a day, that is good.
Oh I forgot, there is also this young boy fleeing for his life. And Harkeld's half sister who has to married a creep who is only there to have smexy times with her. Though I should not call it smexy times, it was marital rape. So she had it bad.
Paperback, 509 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Solaris
The Cursed Kingdoms #1