ARC Review: The Cruelest Curse by Kristen Brand

Title: The Cruelest Curse

Author: Kristen Brand

Series: Dark and Otherworldly

Publication Date: Nov. 30, 2020

Synopsis: Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded their most legendary weapon in battle. But the demonic forces invading Otherworld now are worse than anything she’s ever fought: powerful, cruel, and cannibalistic.

Leigh would return to the human world and leave the arrogant Others to rot except for one reason: Prince Dredarion Rath, the sly, sorcerous man who stole her heart. She’ll fight at his side to save his people even if it means joining forces with her former enemies. But when the worst happens and Leigh ends up cut off from Dredarion, injured and imprisoned, she’ll have to find a way to save the kingdom and the prince alone…or die trying.

LINK:     Goodreads       

My Review:

I can’t believe the series is over! The Cruelest Curse is a fantastic, action-packed conclusion to the Dark and Otherworldly series, and I am so grateful to Kristen Brand for giving me an advanced copy of the book. I absolutely love Leigh and Dredarion’s story!

From the first book, I’ve loved the relationship between Leigh and Dredarion. They’ve been through so much together and have defied all odds. I love that their relationship continues to grow throughout the series, and their deep understanding of and trust in each other gives me so many feels! Leigh is the first person to show Dredarion how special and important he is, and I think her unwavering love and confidence in Dredarion’s capabilities makes him want to be a better person.

He would give her everything that was in her power to offer: magic, riches, protection, devotion. But he couldn’t triumph over this struggle for her any more than she could make him a worthier prince or a better enchanter. They could only support one another because they were each capable of standing on their own.

Dredarion admires Leigh’s strength and ability to protect and defend herself and others. How fabulous is that?! He isn’t daunted by her strength and intellect. He admires and respects her, treats her like an equal, and knows that she will always have his back, which is good because, in this story, Dredarion needs all the help he can get.

The unpredictability of the story makes for such a suspenseful read, and I love that I continue to be surprised at the shocking twists and turns. From the first lines, I was immersed in the plot, partly because it jumps right into the action and partly because the author’s skillful writing flows so well that I could easily imagine the world, the action, and the amazing and unusual characters.

Dredarion nearly stepped on the first dead sprite. She lay atop fallen leaves, body no taller than his finger, her delicate arms and legs limp. She’d lost her glow, and one of her butterfly-like wings was bent.

The surprising reappearance of characters from previous books cause horrific destruction on Dredarion’s world and definitely make him regret some of his past actions. I find it interesting that the antagonists are varied and ever-changing. People that Dredarion and Leigh once hated become potential allies while others who seemed harmless turns out to be the most ruthless. As the story reaches the height of intensity, the action and violence is non-stop and often brutal. The antagonists are ruthless, power-hungry, and vengeful, and Dredarion, Leigh, and others feel the brunt of their hate-filled actions.

I found a new favorite author in Kristen Brand and can’t wait to read more of her books in the future. Captivating and immersive, The Cruelest Curse is a fabulous ending to a favorite series, and I’m already looking forward to rereading it!


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance, of course! I LOVE Leigh and Dredarion and wholly rooted for their happy ending.
  • The constant twists and turns! I never knew what was going to happen next, and I loved it.
  • The action. Major fight scenes, and some intense and violent scenes had me at the edge of my seat!
  • The writing style feels effortless, and the imagery is so vivid!

Favorite Lines:

His duty to the living had to take precedence over the one to the dead.

Fear can make fools of even the wisest of us.


This is the third book in the series, so I would recommend reading the first two before you read this one.

Want to learn more about the Dark and Otherworldly series? Check out my reviews for the first two books:

Poison and Honey – Dark & Otherworldly 1

Sting of Thorns – Dark & Otherworldly 2

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8 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Cruelest Curse by Kristen Brand

  1. I agree- start at the beginning of a series. Starting on the 1st book does make you know whether or not to continue, and would not be the able to understand the others if you start in the middle

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