Book Review: The Cursed King by Abigail Owen

About the Book:

Title: The Cursed King

Author: Abigail Owen

Series: Inferno Rising

Publication Date: Oct. 25, 2021

Publisher: Entangled Pub.

Synopsis: He will burn. She will rise.

Airk Azdajah, the rightful King of the White Clan, spent half a millennium being tortured by the false High King Pytheios. The only reason he’s alive is a curse— the man to kill Airk will be consumed in his own fire. Which is why Pytheios kept Airk alive, barely, unable to shift in his prison cage, driving the creature half of him into madness. Airk escaped, but he’ll never be truly free. What good is a king who can never let his feral dragon loose, never fly, and never lead his people? He’s better off dead.

Angelika Amon is the last unmated phoenix. The problem? She has no powers. Zip. Zilch. Angelika hates being dormant, especially now that her three sisters are blissfully mated to powerful dragon shifter kings and are very much part of the fight to take down the rotting king Pytheios, their parents’ killer. What good is a useless runt of a phoenix in a battle to save the dragon kingdom?

Desperate to find some way to help, she offers herself to Airk as a mate — just for political leverage. But a dormant phoenix is no damn use to him just like a dragon who can’t shift is no use to her. Until Pytheios sets his sights on Angelika for himself…

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.


My Review:

The fourth and final book in the Inferno Rising series, The Cursed King is an epic conclusion and a fantastic read. It’s such an engrossing story – emotional, action-packed, and riddled with danger, romance, friendship, and sisterly love. The romance focuses on Airk, who has been held captive by Pytheios for over 500 years, and Angelika, the youngest of the quadruplet phoenixes. Both Airk and Angelika are on the side of the Black, blue, and Gold dragon clans to defeat Pytheios and his corrupt followers. However, the clans do not have enough power to win the eventual war, so Angelika volunteers to gain supporters. With Airk in tow, Angelika travels to various clans and attempts to gain allies while also trying to show Airk how perfect they are for each other.

Airk is a complex and wounded male. Imprisoned and abused for centuries, Airk’s a tortured hero who is good at shutting off his emotions. He fears losing control, knows he is a feral dragon, and struggles to adjust to his new reality. He also is slow to trust and befriend others, which, again, is not shocking considering his background. It seems like whenever Airk takes two emotional steps forward, he ends up taking at least one step back. He fights his feelings and struggles with his conflicting feelings. I felt so bad for Airk and so wanted him to find happiness and peace. He’s been through so much, and even in this story, he faces judgment, distrust, and more. Angelika is the only one Airk really allows to get close. Like everyone else, Airk is drawn to Angelika’s compassion, kindness, and innate understanding of others.

Angelika is a strong person who hates being coddled and left out. As the youngest sister and the only one without powers, Angelika feels like she’s always been overprotected, which frustrates her to no end. However, she isn’t the type of person to give up on what she wants, which she proves over and over again in the story, especially when it comes to her feelings for Airk and her determination to help defeat Pytheios. Angelika sees the good in others and looks for the bright side in every situation. She has an energy about her that draws people to her, and she is an amazing mediator and diplomat. I like that she realizes that even though she doesn’t have her sisters abilities, she has her own kind of power, and she can use it to help their cause.

Airk and Angelika don’t have an easy road, but their love story is wonderful! Airk has no idea what he wants and struggles with his feelings and desires. Luckily, Angelika is the most patient being alive because Airk puts her (and himself) through an emotional roller coaster. Angelika is so understanding and so certain of her love for Airk that she determines to give him the time and space he needs. They are both self-sacrificing with each other, and they are each other’s anchors and help steady their tumultuous feelings. I love how they grow closer, and how Airk comes to realize how deeply he cares. They have fantastic chemistry, and their romantic scenes are sexy and swoon-worthy!

I adore this supernatural world of dragons and phoenixes, wolves, witches, gargoyles, deadly adversaries, power-hungry antagonists, and a love story to end all love stories. The sisters and their hunky alpha dragon mates all have prominent roles in the story as well, and they are a force to be reckoned with. I love stories with strong female protagonists, and this series has four bad-ass women who exemplify wisdom, strength, courage, and kindness. Alone they are amazing, but together they are awe-inspiring.

The novel includes epic battle scenes, suspenseful and intense journeys and conflicts, and the threat of danger looms over everyone. No one is safe, and many twists and turns and revelations keep you guessing. I was shocked on more than one occasion, and I stayed up so late to finish the story! I just couldn’t stop reading until I found out how these dynamic characters were going to defeat Pytheios and his allies. I wasn’t disappointed. The ending exceed my expectations and even brought me to tears (more than once!). There are some really emotional, poignant, and moving scenes that show how strong the characters’ family ties are, and they were equally beautiful, heart-warming, and heart-breaking.

This story is not a standalone, and I definitely recommend reading the first three books in the series before you read this one. That being said, the series is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to readers of paranormal romance. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing, and Abigail Owen for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The character development.
  • The supernatural elements.

Favorite Lines:

Power does not always come from a physical ability.

Both of them had been forced into cages not of their own making all their lives. His with bars, hers with fear.

He took over, kissing her in the same way a drowning man might hold on to a rope in a storm, as though she might anchor him to this world by her touch alone.

There was a difference between living and simply surviving.

We can do damn near anything when we do it together.

Recommendations:

This is a fantastic series if you like paranormal romance, dragon shifters, and tons of action!

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