Book Review: This Cursed Light by Emily Thiede

About the Book:

Title: This Cursed Light

Author: Emily Thiede

Series: The Last Finestra

Page Length: 448

Publication Date: Dec. 5, 2023

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis: When the gods make the rules, the players must choose: Sacrifice their love to save the world, or choose love and let it burn?

Six months after saving their island from destruction and almost losing Dante, Alessa is ready to live happily ever after with her former bodyguard. But Dante can’t rest, haunted by a conviction that the gods aren’t finished with them yet. And without his powers, the next kiss from Alessa could kill him.

Desperate for answers, Dante enlists Alessa and their friends to find the exiled ghiotte in hopes of restoring his powers and combining forces with them to create the only army powerful enough to save them all. But Alessa is hiding a deadly consequence of their last fight–a growing darkness that’s consuming her mind–and their destination holds more dangers than anyone bargained for. In the mysterious city of the banished, Dante will uncover secrets, lies, and ghosts from his past that force him to ask himself: Which side is he on?

When the gods reveal their final test, Dante and Alessa will be the world’s last defense. But if they are the keys to saving the world, will their love be the price of victory?

In This Cursed Light, Dante and Alessa face their most daunting challenge yet when the Gods demand they prove their worth by choosing the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity, once and for all.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

This Cursed Light is a fast-paced and intense conclusion to The Last Finestra duology. The story follows Alessa and Dante six months after the end of the first book as they search for the ghiotte to create an army that can win the upcoming war and, hopefully, restore Dante’s lost powers. With a darkness growing inside Alessa, secrets, lies, and an impending battle looming, danger is ever-growing and ever-present, and Alessa and Dante are tested at every turn.

I like that the story gives both Alessa’s and Dante’s perspectives in this book. Where the first book was more Alessa’s story, in this book we learn so much more about Dante’s character, and I like that the chapters switch perspectives. Alessa and Dante are such great characters, and their physical and emotional journey both individually and together are intense! However, I missed the proverbs that began each chapter in This Vicious Grace. I felt like those added so much to the story and was kind of disappointed they weren’t continued in this book.

The romance between Alessa and Dante is a main focus of this book, as the characters face major turmoil in their relationship. I loved the romance and the push and pull between them. The chemistry is every bit as electric and intense as it is in the first book. There’s definitely a shift in their relationship as the couple gets used to their new life, deal with issues of self-worth and fear of rejection, and face some other harsh realities. It’s interesting to see how they handle all of these new obstacles now that their dynamics have changed. Like the first book, both characters are forced to make life or death decisions, and the pair rarely has a minute to themselves, though they definitely take advantage of it when they do!

One of my favorite parts of the story is the found family element Alessa and Dante have with many of the dynamic side characters. Alessa and Dante travel with an amazing and loyal group, and seeing them support each other and stand in solidarity really highlights the themes of friendship and loyalty. I’d love to see a spin-off that focuses on some of these characters.

The world-building is strong too, and I enjoy Thiede’s immersive writing style. It’s so easy to visualize the world and characters, and though I didn’t love the ending and predicted a couple of the twists, it was overall an entertaining conclusion to the duology. Thanks to Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The characters.

Favorite Lines:

It was one thing to gather tinder, another to light a match while standing atop the pyre.

I don’t want the party to be my life. The dream is what remains when the party’s over.

Want to learn more about the duology? Check out my review of the first book!

This Vicious Grace

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