I mean I should have known from the start that me sticking to my list was not going to happen and that it would take me so long to start the challenge, but I’m here now with book one of my 20 books of summer challenge.
The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.
Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.
But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.
Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
I was quite excited to read this, I mean it sounds amazing from the description, although I have to say that it was a bit different from what I had expected. The book is told through Jane and Reagan’s perspectives and whilst I enjoyed getting to see both sides of the story, I have to admit I was a bit miffed that we didn’t really get much from the other princesses. I had the impression that they were going to be in it a lot more and would be invested in breaking the curse but I don’t feel like I got to know them as well as I would have liked.
However I really liked the thought behind the story, the magic system was interesting, I liked the idea of fully owning the weight of your actions anytime you practised magic, I also liked that there was a reason for the peace between Ever and the witches but that it was a constant question mark, something that was just accepted instead of really explored by the kingdom, it kept me guessing until the end.
There are some darker elements to the story, something in the kingdom’s history that changes how things are run and shows how fear can be a dangerous thing. There is also an event that is the driving element for the characters, it is never described in any detail but is a feeling that I think many women will understand even in a small way, I think this was handled very well by the author, not in any way gratuitously done.
I loved the message that I got from the book, that just because something has always been a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t fight against it and change it and it’s never too late to try. I think this message is something that is relevant to more than just the context that it is used in the book and I liked that it showed that you can still be scared and do the right thing.
I was a little bit disappointed with events at the end of the book, the magic system was laid out very early on and even though the reader learns more as the story progresses you do get used to “the rules” of it. However at the end suddenly it all changes and I wouldn’t have minded this as much if there had been subtle hints at it throughout the rest of the story but it kind of appeared out of nowhere.
That being said I did like the camaraderie between the women in the book, even when they are on opposing sides Jane and Reagan are opening themselves up to see what the other has suffered. They both have a lot of growth as characters and especially when they realise that their actions also affect the people of Ever as well.
Ever Cursed was a story that I was invested in for its interesting plotline, it is a little slow to start but does start to get more intense the further into the book you get. Whilst it was a little different to what I was expecting I really liked the message that the story held and left me with a feeling of hope.