Cursed
Soon to be a Netflix original series!The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller. Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

Cursed Details

TitleCursed
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 1st, 2019
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Young Adult Fantasy, Fiction, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Mythology, Arthurian, Historical, Historical Fiction, Folklore

Cursed Review

  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I’m this book’s exasperated mother: “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”For a long time, we didn’t see a lot of Arthurian retellings and spinoffs. Now suddenly there are quite a few and unfortunately, they are all similar and all pretty bad. Though this particular offshoot had its moments, it’s largely disappointing. The basic plot isn’t really a problem. It’s a good idea and a semi-creative spin on the original legend. Unfortunately much of the detail and storytelling style is derivati I feel like I’m this book’s exasperated mother: “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”For a long time, we didn’t see a lot of Arthurian retellings and spinoffs. Now suddenly there are quite a few and unfortunately, they are all similar and all pretty bad. Though this particular offshoot had its moments, it’s largely disappointing. The basic plot isn’t really a problem. It’s a good idea and a semi-creative spin on the original legend. Unfortunately much of the detail and storytelling style is derivative. Not of Arthurian Legend, mind you, but of uber-tropey YA and fantasy novels. You’ll find some Lord of the Rings, some Game of Thrones, and some Throne of Glass. None of it works all that well. I’m of two minds on the characters. On the positive side, there were some very clever work-ins of traditional Arthurian characters here in ways which I haven’t seen before. But on the other side, most of the main characters leave a lot to be desired. Nimue isn’t a particularly good leader and an even worse martyr. She comes off like a dumb Celaena Sardothien. And Merlin! Merlin is (sorta kinda) a fraud, and Merlin is drunk as a skunk! All the time! And sadly, that’s not nearly as funny or interesting as it sounds. I kind of got the impression the authors were going for a Tyrion type but instead we got a mix of the Mad Hatter and a really, really hammered version of Littlefinger. I liked the role laid out for Uther, but the execution of his character arc left much to be desired. He’s pretty doltish for most of the book and then suddenly has a brief moment of Super Spy before withering back to his halfwit self again. In my mind, he looked and sounded like Lord Farquaad.The minor characters were much better rendered, Morgan, Iris, and Lancelot in particular. Arthur, interestingly, winds up being a pretty standard Arthur archetype, though I wonder if that might change in the next installment. One last bummer about this book: I hate saying this because I usually love Frank Miller, but the art in this book...it’s terrible. I have some slight curiosity about where the story will go after this, but probably not enough to read the next offering in the series.*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Shannan
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC of this at a conference and was excited, because Frank Miller was collaborating with an author, and it was already optioned for a Netflix series. Turns out, the author is in fact a screenwriter. This was a planned multimedia project, essentially, and it reads like one. There's zero interest in keeping with any kind of historical period between names, technologies, forms of dress...and the person who gave it to me at the publisher's booth called it a genderbent Arthur story. More acc I got an ARC of this at a conference and was excited, because Frank Miller was collaborating with an author, and it was already optioned for a Netflix series. Turns out, the author is in fact a screenwriter. This was a planned multimedia project, essentially, and it reads like one. There's zero interest in keeping with any kind of historical period between names, technologies, forms of dress...and the person who gave it to me at the publisher's booth called it a genderbent Arthur story. More accurately, it's a re-telling from Nimue's perspective. Which is cool and unusual, but Arthur is still a dude who's kind of ridiculous in this. There's a lot of violence against women even within the first few chapters. The writing is very simplistic. It's just not great. I have a feeling the show will be on par with Merlin, or any of the many other interchangeable fantasy TV shows that have come out in the past few years.
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  • Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Book – CursedAuthor – Thomas WheelerSeries – N/ACliffhanger? - NoPublication Date – October 1, 2019Genre – YA FantasyRating – 3.5 out of 5 Stars Complimentary copy generously provided by the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story I was totally wrong with what I was expecting when I requested this book. I thought it was going to be a retelling of Arthur being a girl, instead it is a story through Nimue’s POV. This was not what I was expecting but I kept an o Book – CursedAuthor – Thomas WheelerSeries – N/ACliffhanger? - NoPublication Date – October 1, 2019Genre – YA FantasyRating – 3.5 out of 5 Stars Complimentary copy generously provided by the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story I was totally wrong with what I was expecting when I requested this book. I thought it was going to be a retelling of Arthur being a girl, instead it is a story through Nimue’s POV. This was not what I was expecting but I kept an open mind. If you don’t know who Nimue is, she is the Lady of the Lake who originally had Excalibur before Merlin/Arthur.Then I felt as I was reading that this was made more for the movies instead of a book – I mean I have a good imagination, but this was difficult sometimes to process what was supposed to be going on.Overall, this book held my attention and I can’t wait to see the Netflix adaptation on screen. I think I will give it a 5 star after the fact.Reason for Reading – NetGalley RequestStory – 4 out of 5 StarsSteam – 4 out of 5 StarsAngst – 3 out of 5 StarsWriting – 3 out of 5 StarsContent Flow – 3.5 out of 5 StarsWould Read More from Author? Yes
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  • Emilie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book.As a huge fan of Arthurian lore and legend I was very excited to read this book. It was a "fresh" take on the story from the point of view of Nimue. She has always been treated as an outcast in her tribe, despite the fact that her mother was the leader of their Druid village. One day after trying to make her escape, Nimue is faced with the massacre of her village, the death of her mother, the discovery of an ancient magical sword, and the meeting of a young man nam I received an ARC of this book.As a huge fan of Arthurian lore and legend I was very excited to read this book. It was a "fresh" take on the story from the point of view of Nimue. She has always been treated as an outcast in her tribe, despite the fact that her mother was the leader of their Druid village. One day after trying to make her escape, Nimue is faced with the massacre of her village, the death of her mother, the discovery of an ancient magical sword, and the meeting of a young man named Arthur. She feels her only option to save the rest of her land from the same fate her own people suffered is to get the mystical sword to a fabled sorcerer named Merlin. The story follows Nimue on her journey to find Merlin and discover for herself why fate has tied her to him, to Arthur, and to the sword.While to book started off great, it didn't take long for the story to seem disjointed. The narrative followed several different characters, from their points of view, including Nimue, Merlin, Uther Pendragon, Morgan, and others. By the middle of the book it never felt like the story was moving to a set, cohesive point. It just felt like everyone was wandering about the countryside, wondering what they should do next. When the "climax" of the story finally came, it was underwhelming. What was supposed to be an epic moment and exciting cliffhanger just came off, to me, as a bit disappointing. By the end, I wasn't really sure what the "point" of the story was supposed to be. Without giving away spoilers, Nimue's "origin story" just left me saying, "Oh...really...that's it? Okay..."The version I read was an ARC, so I'm sure the illustrations will change for the final version. They were very interesting, however.If you are a fan of Arthur and the legends surrounding him, this might be worth checking out for you. Many of the characters' names will be recognizable, if not their "traditional" roles in the legends. I will probably give the next book in the series a chance, just to see if some of the things I found lacking in this book are made up for in the next installment.
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    Ok....who else gravitates to books/graphic novels that have that lovely sticker "Soon to be a Netflix Original Series'' or "Now a Major Motion picture"? I know I do!While I hate the darn sticker on the front cover of my book (Geez....wrap them in plastic and put that darn tag on the plastic so you aren't marking up my book!!' And DON'T make it a perma-part of the cover art....I don't want an ad displayed on the front cover of a book I paid for! Mini rant over.) I come running every time I see th Ok....who else gravitates to books/graphic novels that have that lovely sticker "Soon to be a Netflix Original Series'' or "Now a Major Motion picture"? I know I do!While I hate the darn sticker on the front cover of my book (Geez....wrap them in plastic and put that darn tag on the plastic so you aren't marking up my book!!' And DON'T make it a perma-part of the cover art....I don't want an ad displayed on the front cover of a book I paid for! Mini rant over.) I come running every time I see those tags, but I follow my rule which is I have to read the book before I watch any television adaptation. Then I understand the characters and I can join in on the complaining about what they changed/left out and any huzzahs about special effects, casting, awesomeness. I have been both wildly entertained and completely disappointed in my quest for the most awesome book/film adaptations. I often go in expecting another Haunting of Hill House but prepared to deal with an Iron Fist.....ending up happily entertained somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. I enjoyed this book. And I'm looking forward to it coming to Netflix in 2020!Cursed is a twist on the King Arthur legend. The Lady of the Lake gets to be more than just a silvery hand appearing holding up a sword. This tale is told her her point of view. Nimue experiences the brutality of the world at a very early age....her entire village is slaughtered and her mother dies. But that is not her fate. Her fate is intertwined with a magical sword, Merlin, and Arthur. Add in some great art by Frank Miller, and it's a very entertaining read. I have the suspicion that this story was written for television. The tale reads like a fleshed out script. The story is a nice update to the traditional Arthur legends....all the main characters are there....doing a new version of what they usually do. It just had the feel of a film script with some bookish details and flow added, plus nice artwork. A teaser for the Netflix series. I'm definitely on-board for more ..... and I will definitely watch the series. But....I feel this is following the current YA trend. Trends get old when they are recycled again and again and again.....and again and again. Yes, I am totally in support of strong female characters....but the theme is getting done to death over the past couple of years. I hope this revisit to Arthurian times stays fresh and creative.....and doesn't get bogged down in what will soon be The Same Old. **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Simon and Schuster via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    My Rating: 2.5 StarsCan you ever have too many Arthurian retellings? The magic, the characters, the intrigue, all with a different spin, which is what Thomas Wheeler has done with his own sense of flare and creative license.CURSED has the plot, the bones and some pretty original thoughts, but something was just off for me, maybe that special spark that fantasy brings to a story. Expect to see characters in a completely different light, some positive, some, not so much. Told through Nimue’s point My Rating: 2.5 StarsCan you ever have too many Arthurian retellings? The magic, the characters, the intrigue, all with a different spin, which is what Thomas Wheeler has done with his own sense of flare and creative license.CURSED has the plot, the bones and some pretty original thoughts, but something was just off for me, maybe that special spark that fantasy brings to a story. Expect to see characters in a completely different light, some positive, some, not so much. Told through Nimue’s point of view, we see everyone through a different light and heroes of old become something less, something not exactly larger than life.I felt I was being fed more of a visual tale, less of a story, could that be because this is designed for commercial viewing and not as a book for mental viewing and imagination? This tale skimmed the surface of what could have been a very deep pool of creativity. So, yes, you can have too many Arthurian tales, but only when they miss the mark of magic!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. My honest review is voluntary.Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2019)Publication Date: October 1, 2019Genre: YA Historical FantasyPrint Length: 416 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    THIS REVIEW & MORE → SYNOPSES BY SARGEI received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Cursed is an Arthurian retelling.Overall, I thought the story was well-paced. It was action-packed, engaging, and eventful. I found the last half of the story a lot more intriguing than the first half due to the story-building. It was like everyone was meeting at the same place and battle would soon ensue.I felt like the story lost a little of the grandeur that we see in our original tal THIS REVIEW & MORE → SYNOPSES BY SARGEI received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Cursed is an Arthurian retelling.Overall, I thought the story was well-paced. It was action-packed, engaging, and eventful. I found the last half of the story a lot more intriguing than the first half due to the story-building. It was like everyone was meeting at the same place and battle would soon ensue.I felt like the story lost a little of the grandeur that we see in our original tale of Arthur. Everyone is a little dumbed-down, or maybe just not as invincible as we are shown. Merlin is a drunk, Nimue is the new Arthur, Arthur is the lovesick dog, and Lancelot is probably my favorite character. The real stars of the show and most relatable were the side characters: Lancelot, Iris, and Morgan. I want to know so much more about those characters than the protagonists. Iris is so interesting!I’ll be honest, probably my biggest complaint is the artwork. I found it a bit creepy :/ And it reminded me of a kid drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch (harsh, I know! But that was what I kept thinking of every time I saw the artwork). I think the story would’ve been better without it because I felt like I was looking at the same picture thirty different times and Nimue looked like a dude.There is a lot of potential for more stories, or spin-offs to come from this original novel. I can see a lot of readers being interested in our side characters potentially having a larger role in the series. One thing missing for me was the world-building. We see some description of the characters, but I couldn’t clearly picture any of them. I would like to see more description of the dress, landscape, and characters.Cursed is the story of “coming of age”. It is a story of friendship, survival, deceit, and acceptance. Being as the author is a screenwriter, I can definitely see this becoming a popular show on Netflix and the novel gaining momentum in the months to come.The expected publication date is October 1, 2019.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I read the first hundred pages before I gave up. At first glance, this seems like a strong female protagonist book, but it's more like "wreckless protagonist sometimes accidentally does the right thing" book. There will be demand for this book, and I know who I will recommend it to, but unfortunately it's not for me.
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  • Alyson Stone
    January 1, 1970
    Book: CursedAuthor: Thomas WheelerRating: 2 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC. I went into this one with really high expectations. I mean, look at just how much it has going for it. However, I do feel like this book was just made for the screen and the screen alone. I don’t know what is it about taking a script and turning it into a book just makes everything fall apart. I think this would Book: CursedAuthor: Thomas WheelerRating: 2 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC. I went into this one with really high expectations. I mean, look at just how much it has going for it. However, I do feel like this book was just made for the screen and the screen alone. I don’t know what is it about taking a script and turning it into a book just makes everything fall apart. I think this would had been much stronger in script form. The plot was really basic. This is pitched as almost being a female King Arthur, but it doesn’t come out like that. Arthur is still a male. It’s fine, I guess, but the plot as a whole just wasn’t as fleshed out as it come have been. Thomas uses a lot of techniques that other fantasy authors use, but it just doesn’t work here. I think he had done something different and really fleshed out the story, then things may had worked a little bit better. Again, I bet it will work on the screen. I liked the reinventing of some of the characters, but others, no. For example, our lead character, Nimue is not my favourite. She’s supposed to be this great thinker and all of that, but she doesn’t come across like that. The author is trying way too hard to make her into something she’s not. This creates a lot of problems in the overall presentation of the story. Merlin was also very poorly done. He should had been the most interesting character here, but he wasn’t. The minor characters were great and I wish we could had gotten to see more of them. The artwork, I thought, was really unnecessary. Whenever I saw this was illustrated, I thought it was going to be done a little bit more tastefully. Normally, I do love illustrations in books, but the ones in this one just kind of annoyed me. Overall, I am very disappointed in this one, but I do think I will give the show a try. This book comes out on October 1, 2019. Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/0QG_IKzwtAc
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  • Deanna (Deanna Reads Books)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books I really like Arthurian Myth, and I haven't read a lot of retellings (save for Avalon High by Meg Cabot which is amazing), so I was really excited to get my hands on this book. I think this book has an interesting take because it pulls in a lot of the myths but also puts it in the backdrop of how Christianity started to take over. It really focuses a lot on how pagans and people of other religions were straight up hunted down This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books I really like Arthurian Myth, and I haven't read a lot of retellings (save for Avalon High by Meg Cabot which is amazing), so I was really excited to get my hands on this book. I think this book has an interesting take because it pulls in a lot of the myths but also puts it in the backdrop of how Christianity started to take over. It really focuses a lot on how pagans and people of other religions were straight up hunted down by the church. It's definitely an interesting take on the myth, but in the historical context it makes a lot of sense.I kind of love that in this retelling the hero is actually Nimue...not Arthur. Girl is a BAMF, and I loved watching her grow in strength. She went from a young girl who didn't want any responsibly, but ends up as the person who can stop the war. I also enjoyed that Merlin is kind of written as a drunk in this book. It made me laugh. That's not really a spoiler, but he has some interesting things about him in this one. This book also has some illustrations along with the printed words which are done by Frank Miller. Miller is pretty big in the comic world, so he might sound familiar to you. I have to admit...I don't think I really care for his illustration style. I think I will get a lot of hate for that, but I just don't think it's for me. The artwork in here didn't really appeal to me all that much, but if you are a Miller fan you will probably really enjoy it.My only big obstacles with this book was the ending! It ends on a big moment, that just felt so incomplete to me. I'm not sure if this is just one book and its going to be a series. The ending just felt a little flat to me.I think if you like Frank Miler or are interesting in Arthurian myth you will enjoy this one!*I received a review copy of this book via the publisher Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via Netgalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 41%Cursed wasn't a terrible book, but I never felt compelled to pick it up. I kept choosing to read other books instead, which is why I wasn't able to finish this one before its release date. The characters were flat and uninteresting, and I wasn't able to connect with them or their individual stories. Merlin is a drunk. A manipulative, ridiculous drunk that didn't contribute much to the story. Arthur can't decide if he wants to be dependable or flaky, and Nimue was a very one-dimensional DNF at 41%Cursed wasn't a terrible book, but I never felt compelled to pick it up. I kept choosing to read other books instead, which is why I wasn't able to finish this one before its release date. The characters were flat and uninteresting, and I wasn't able to connect with them or their individual stories. Merlin is a drunk. A manipulative, ridiculous drunk that didn't contribute much to the story. Arthur can't decide if he wants to be dependable or flaky, and Nimue was a very one-dimensional main character that rarely made her own decisions. She was either following the orders of others, or doing what the Hidden and the Sword of Power compelled her to do.The story is also very violent, and actually made me feel sick to my stomach. The deaths were gruesome on their own, but when the atrocities were committed against children... infants... I can't. Especially when one of the babies is later used to convey a message from the Hidden, like some twisted reanimated zombie doll. Additionally, I didn't care for the random illustrations peppered in throughout the story. They were odd and distracting. I normally like Frank Miller's work, but the artwork in Cursed missed the mark for me.I thought the overall concept was unique and had the potential to be interesting, but I wasn't captivated by the story. The Fey twist on Arthurian legend was promising, but I wish they'd expanded on the different clans and variations of Fey. I also felt like there were gaps in the story when we went from one chapter to the next. It always took me a few minutes to figure out who was speaking and where they were. I think the structure of the book could have been a little smoother, but maybe it will transition better as a television series.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    When Nimue’s village is attacked by Red Paladins and everyone is killed, Nimue’s mom hands her the Sword of Power and tells her to deliver it to Merlin. The saying goes: “Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.” Nimue feels the power whenever she holds the sword. With the help of Arthur and the Fey Folk, Nimue must defeat the paladins and Uther. For anyone who is a devoted fan of Arthur and Merlin, this book may not be for you. It really does not follow the original story When Nimue’s village is attacked by Red Paladins and everyone is killed, Nimue’s mom hands her the Sword of Power and tells her to deliver it to Merlin. The saying goes: “Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.” Nimue feels the power whenever she holds the sword. With the help of Arthur and the Fey Folk, Nimue must defeat the paladins and Uther. For anyone who is a devoted fan of Arthur and Merlin, this book may not be for you. It really does not follow the original story and Arthur plays a very different role in this one. That being said, I found the book extremely interesting and intriguing. Nimue is the name used for The Lady in the Lake and the way the author twists the story around Nimue and the sword is unique. You will find many of the same characters from the Arthur story throughout the book and some new ones. Nimue and Arthur form a strong friendship that has the potential to become more. There are a few surprises as well. The fight scenes are well written and violent. The descriptions of the battles make a very vivid picture for the reader. The ending gave me the feeling that there may be a book 2 in the works. I hope so. There is still much to learn from Nimue and her friends. (Advanced Readers Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing via Goodreads Giveaways)
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this, so much action. It filled the hole that Game of Thrones left in my heart. Great fun, love the strong female retelling of this tale. Can't wait for the second.
  • Brenna Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Thank so much to NetGalley for this ARC! One of the things I really love about using NetGalley is the access to titles that I would have never heard of had it not been available on their website. I would have seen the show when it came out, noticed it was based on a book, and been so far behind on the times as I tried to read to catch up. Luckily though, I was approved and got to read about Nimue first hand.As we grow up, we learn about history both fact and fiction. We’re told what wars happene Thank so much to NetGalley for this ARC! One of the things I really love about using NetGalley is the access to titles that I would have never heard of had it not been available on their website. I would have seen the show when it came out, noticed it was based on a book, and been so far behind on the times as I tried to read to catch up. Luckily though, I was approved and got to read about Nimue first hand.As we grow up, we learn about history both fact and fiction. We’re told what wars happened when, what books are considered classic that will never age. One thing that I missed out on as a kid was how the things that all of these tales and lore had in common was that it was dominated by white men. Men were the saviors, men were the kings, the presidents, the end all be all. Women were who nipped at their heels and stayed quiet and demure while all hell broke loose around them. This retelling was such a breath of fresh air because it puts that trope right on its head and puts strong women in the foreground.Nimue is the Lady of the Lake, whom we know from the legend of King Arthur. We know she gives him Excalibur, and in a few other myths she raises Lancelot or has a brief affair with Merlin. In this story, she is a young sorceress touched by the darkness; called to a purpose she could never imagine. Her village is pillaged by the Red Paladins who are hell-bent on destroyed Fey Kind in the name of God. She escapes with a sword she has never seen before, thrust into her arms by her mother, the Arch Druid, and told to find Merlin.Along the way, she meets familiar faces from the tales of old, and proves herself worthy to be Queen of the Fey, the Wolf-Blood Witch, and a true example of the strength of women. She fights to free her fey brethren while combatting the rage that lies deep within the iron of the blade. It begs her to kill, and she has to find a way to quench its thirst without losing herself at the same time. It’s such a compelling fantasy, and the best retelling I’ve ever read of the story of King Arthur. I so hope that the show is faithful to this source material, because it is sure to give so many girls the push they need to believe in their own body and soul.
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    Nimue, an outcast young Druid, finds herself the reluctant leader of a revolution when the Sword of Power comes to her. Desperate to save her people from Church prosecution, she must decide who to trust and who to betray.I really, really wanted to like this one. It should have been brilliant! But sadly, for me, the execution didn't live up to the promise. Plot elements were dropped in awkwardly, I never felt like I had all the background, and a couple of characters just vanished randomly. To me, Nimue, an outcast young Druid, finds herself the reluctant leader of a revolution when the Sword of Power comes to her. Desperate to save her people from Church prosecution, she must decide who to trust and who to betray.I really, really wanted to like this one. It should have been brilliant! But sadly, for me, the execution didn't live up to the promise. Plot elements were dropped in awkwardly, I never felt like I had all the background, and a couple of characters just vanished randomly. To me, it kind of felt like Tom and Frank had a really cool idea and tried to weld it to Arthurian myth. It might have done better as its' own thing.That's just my opinion, though, and this is really well written. The art looks like it will fit perfectly with the story. I hope it does really well. It just wasn't for me.“The Wolf-Blood Witch has arrived.” A small Faun girl with tiny antler buds growing from her high forehead ran up to Nimue and touched her leg before retreating to the safety of her family shelter. A few more children of all different Fey clans swarmed around her , pushed to hold her hand or touch her, reach for her, pull at her torn sleeves. Some adults joined the children, encircling Nimue, a dozen at first, then dozens more, then a hundred, surrounding her in a worshipful circle of thankful survivors. Nimue’s chest tightened with fear. Part of her wanted to run as the refugees pulled her away from Arthur to put necklaces over her head or to offer her scraps or charms of whatever eager gifts they could. Nimue said over and over, “Thank you, thank you, you’re so kind.” She turned back to look for Arthur but could not see him in the crowd that had formed around her.
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  • Lis Carey
    January 1, 1970
    I tried to like this book. I really did.It's an Arthurian story in which Things Are Different, and the Sword that empowers the True King has gone to Nimue--designating, instead, a True Queen.I ought to love this.There are a whole range of Fey peoples, of different types and features and magic. Nimue is one of them.I ought to love this.Nimue and Morgan and others are interesting characters.I ought to love this.Unfortunately, the bad guy characters are stereotypically, cartoonishly evil. It render I tried to like this book. I really did.It's an Arthurian story in which Things Are Different, and the Sword that empowers the True King has gone to Nimue--designating, instead, a True Queen.I ought to love this.There are a whole range of Fey peoples, of different types and features and magic. Nimue is one of them.I ought to love this.Nimue and Morgan and others are interesting characters.I ought to love this.Unfortunately, the bad guy characters are stereotypically, cartoonishly evil. It renders them unbelievable and, in my opinion, not worth the reader's time.The culture and society we're shown, at least above the village level, is not consistent with any time frame within which it's consistent with any version of the Arthurian myth to picture Arthur, Uther, Merlin, Morgan, and the others existing.Burning witches as other than an occasional local, small-scale event was not a thing at any point in a plausible range for Arthurian stories, as this presents itself.Red Paladins were not a thing, ever. The Red Paladins caused me to consider the possibility that this is based on a role-playing game, but I haven't been able to substantiate that. That doesn't mean it isn't, though, and if it is, this might be a lot more fun for people familiar with the game. So if there is a game, bear that in mind. This might have a background that is not the one I expect for Arthurian mythos stories.As things stand, though, I don't like the book, and can't recommend it.I do have to say that I do like the interior artwork.I received a free electronic galley of this book, and am reviewing it voluntarily.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    This young adult fantasy is a retelling of the King Arthur lore focusing on the Lady of the Lake character. Nimue, presumably the Lady of the Lake, has the Sword of Power unknowingly thrust upon her after the Red Paladins invade her village. As she fights for her fellow Fey folk and seeks understanding of her true role in all of the chaos, she will find friends from all walks of life, enemies that burn with hatred against her very name, and an adventure that spans across many landscapes. Many of This young adult fantasy is a retelling of the King Arthur lore focusing on the Lady of the Lake character. Nimue, presumably the Lady of the Lake, has the Sword of Power unknowingly thrust upon her after the Red Paladins invade her village. As she fights for her fellow Fey folk and seeks understanding of her true role in all of the chaos, she will find friends from all walks of life, enemies that burn with hatred against her very name, and an adventure that spans across many landscapes. Many of the notable characters from the Arthur legend can be found in the pages of this story, just not as easily spotted as the obvious exact naming of Arthur or Merlin.I personally enjoyed this story and thought it was an interesting twist on the King Arthur legend. The descriptions of the various landscapes were captivating, the embellishment of the atmosphere was engrossing, and the details of the battle scenes were intense. All typical ingredients that I usually find in a good fantasy. While I wouldn't describe this as an intensely intricate fantasy, sometimes I had to focus a little harder on differentiating between the Fey folk with the various titles or references to some of their tribes. Nothing incredibly detailed or hard to follow. Overall, I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the book and would recommend to readers interested in young adult fantasy or in Arthurian lore. It wasn't as captivating as I had hoped, but I would still be interested in seeing how the story progresses after the end of this book.I would like to thank NetGalley for this e-ARC.
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  • Deedi (DeediReads) Brown
    January 1, 1970
    All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.If you like fantasy retellings and badass girl warriors, then my friend, this is the book for you. Especially if you’re familiar with King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin, and all that good stuff. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about those stories, and I still really enjoyed it. And the more you know, I can only imagine the better it will get.Our main character is Nimue, who comes from a Fey village. She has a close connection with “ All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.If you like fantasy retellings and badass girl warriors, then my friend, this is the book for you. Especially if you’re familiar with King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin, and all that good stuff. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about those stories, and I still really enjoyed it. And the more you know, I can only imagine the better it will get.Our main character is Nimue, who comes from a Fey village. She has a close connection with “the Hidden,” aka the source of magic in the world, and she’s ostracized for it. Then her village is razed to the ground by militant Catholic missionaries, the Red Paladins. Her mother produces a sword from a hiding place and tells Nimue to find Merlin and give it to him — and then she goes down fighting. Nimue sets off with Arthur, a sellsword she met a few days before in the nearby trading city. Together they join up with others — many of whom turn out to unexpectedly become our beloved characters we know and love from King Arthur legends — to save the rest of the Fey Folk.There’s also a heartwarming cozy romance that buds between Nimue and Arthur, and a nice little twist midway — the most surprising character development of the book. Plus, Nimue is a badass but flawed character in the best way.Although I read an advanced reader’s copy of this book and so didn’t get to see them all, finished copies of this book will have almost 40 illustrations by Frank Miller! The ones I did see where fantastic, and it made the reading experience even richer.The story was fast-paced and read quickly, which is always a plus in fantasy (especially for young readers). Note that it can be a tad graphic for the target age, but it could definitely be worse. It’s billed as middle grade, but I think teens and adults will love the story too!
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  • Nikki Mola
    January 1, 1970
    Cursed I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for review Cursed is a YA retelling of the King Arthur told from the point of view of Nimue, a female Fey whose village is viciously ransacked. The aftermath leaves her orphaned with a final mission given to her by her mother, get the sword to Merlin. The story starts off really strong and full of action which, surprisingly, carries on through most of the book. There were some pieces in the middle where I felt the different characters got a bi Cursed I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for review Cursed is a YA retelling of the King Arthur told from the point of view of Nimue, a female Fey whose village is viciously ransacked. The aftermath leaves her orphaned with a final mission given to her by her mother, get the sword to Merlin. The story starts off really strong and full of action which, surprisingly, carries on through most of the book. There were some pieces in the middle where I felt the different characters got a bit confusing and the plot slowed down for me but as with any first novel in a series, they came together with time. The ending was worthwhile, pulling together the overlying themes of self growth and coming of age. So, do I recommend it? Possibly. If you’re a diehard purest of the original tale, the changes in this story may not be for you but if you’re a fan of fantasy and open to exploring and expanding the the original Arthurian legend, you’ll want to add this to your shelf.
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  • Heidi Wahlstrom
    January 1, 1970
    I am interested in Arthurian legends and I think it's fun when an author takes creative license to put a different spin on the stories so I picked up this book. I enjoyed the different roles the characters played that are completely different from the original Arthur myths. For instance Nimue, the lady of the lake, carries the sword, Arthur is a knight for hire, Merlin is a drunk, and Lancelot a killer. There were also many minor characters who appear such as Bors, Morgan, and Gawain. However, t I am interested in Arthurian legends and I think it's fun when an author takes creative license to put a different spin on the stories so I picked up this book. I enjoyed the different roles the characters played that are completely different from the original Arthur myths. For instance Nimue, the lady of the lake, carries the sword, Arthur is a knight for hire, Merlin is a drunk, and Lancelot a killer. There were also many minor characters who appear such as Bors, Morgan, and Gawain. However, this story is not character driven. It depends solely on the action. I know the story is intended for a Netlix series and it doesn't read well as a novel. The characters do not seemed fully formed and description is lacking in many places except the gory parts. The writing is stilted and doesn't transfer the reader to the mystic world that is fantasy. Also, I know that Frank Miller is known for his artwork but in my opinion the artwork doesn't complement this novel.
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  • Melody
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC at SDCC 2019.This was one of the books I was anticipating this year when I first heard about it. Very sad that it didn't go the way I thought it would have gone. Didn't really connect with any of the characters. The story line felt force together and all of it just felt too rush. There really wasn't any character development during the story. I felt as if the reader had to rely on knowing the Arthurian legends already. I could have been such a good storyline but at the end it f I received an ARC at SDCC 2019.This was one of the books I was anticipating this year when I first heard about it. Very sad that it didn't go the way I thought it would have gone. Didn't really connect with any of the characters. The story line felt force together and all of it just felt too rush. There really wasn't any character development during the story. I felt as if the reader had to rely on knowing the Arthurian legends already. I could have been such a good storyline but at the end it felt like the book was just trying to hit a check off list.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon & Schuster's for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.The premise of this book is what drew me to want to read the ARC, but instead of an enticing story I got a letdown. Due to the choppy writing style, I could not get into the story or really appreciate any of the characters. It's an amazing concept with the female twist on the King Arthur legend if the writing weren't such a drag.
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  • Bliss Garza
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a great read. Now, I'm not a good reviewer.. not much experience in reviewing,, just reading. But .. this was a book out of my usual reading material. It was wonderful adventure and great characters... Can absolutely see another book coming after this.. just has to be a series. P.S. sorry for my horrible review skill... I am not sure how to properly write one.
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  • Clockwork Bibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a complimentary arc of this book.2.5 stars. When I saw the blurb of this book, I was so excited to read it. But the whole potential of this book was wasted because of the writing style. This book was written with the sole purpose of being adapted to a Netflix show and the writer is a screenwriter. You can clearly see that when you are reading the book. It felt like I was reading a script. There was no depth in writing or the char Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a complimentary arc of this book.2.5 stars. When I saw the blurb of this book, I was so excited to read it. But the whole potential of this book was wasted because of the writing style. This book was written with the sole purpose of being adapted to a Netflix show and the writer is a screenwriter. You can clearly see that when you are reading the book. It felt like I was reading a script. There was no depth in writing or the characters. The inner monologue were really brief and nothing really left much of an impact on me. In fact, I skimmed most of it. The premise of this book is interesting but it felt like the author was trying to make a bad rip off of Game of Thrones. I hope it will look better as a tv show and am excited to see it on screen.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 stars
  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    A new and interesting version of the classic tales of King Arthur and his knights.Looking forward to seeing the story come to life next year on Netflix.
  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I need more. I need this released now so the fandoms can start. I need Tumblr posts with more art, I need memes, I need more...Netflix movie can not be her quick enough either.
  • David Basora
    January 1, 1970
    A girl chosen to lead her people by the natural magics they worship, against her own wishes and those of the elders; Nimue only wants to leave her secluded village to explore the world. However, her hopes bear ill-fruit when her people are massacred and she finds herself in possession of an ancient sword that seems to give unnatural spirit and courage to escape her attackers. Suddenly, she is being hunted for The Sword of Power, feeling the weight of leadership being thrust upon her seemingly wi A girl chosen to lead her people by the natural magics they worship, against her own wishes and those of the elders; Nimue only wants to leave her secluded village to explore the world. However, her hopes bear ill-fruit when her people are massacred and she finds herself in possession of an ancient sword that seems to give unnatural spirit and courage to escape her attackers. Suddenly, she is being hunted for The Sword of Power, feeling the weight of leadership being thrust upon her seemingly without choice, thinking that this has all come about after she was Cursed as a young girl... ...............................................................................................................................................................Already adapted and being produced as a Netflix Original Series to premiere in Spring 2020, Cursed attempts to reinvent and add to classic Arthurian legend by positing that the sword most well known as Excalibur was first wielded by Nimue to try to free magical fey races from being annihilated by the militant Roman Catholic Church. The church is of course not named so directly, but it is obvious that this is what is implied, as a reference to the numerous cleansing crusades that the church performed throughout history. There are several twists to Arthurian legend that are apparent merely in the first descriptions of the story, firstly that Nimue is hinted at being "The Lady of the Lake" on the back cover, when her identity as such is confirmed and contradicted in various retellings of Arthurian stories throughout literature. Second, that Excalibur has more of a history than being forged for Arthur as the chosen King of England. And third, that the Catholic Church could reasonably be a catalyst for such a conflict. It makes sense historically, but in the context of an Arthurian legend, which gained popularity especially after being altered to be positive and supportive of the Church, it is more confusing. It is in this point that we see that Thomas Wheeler is drawing more inspiration from the Norse and Celtic roots of stories of magic that these legends come from, rather than the romanticized versions that monks, historians, and poets had built up in the last several hundred years. There is more to this, but I would probably be better of writing the essay I am composing in my head elsewhere.As a story of a teenage girl confused about her place in the world and how to handle herself within it, it hits all the right points and Nimue is quite easy to relate to. The instant spark with Arthur, and even her quick temper, make sense in the context of the story, and her arc leaves you thinking she often has little choice in how she makes the decisions she does, given her character traits. I do find it curious that there are certain things that seem important at certain points, but then not later. For example, Pym was quite a vital character until the Paladins attacked, and then her name doesn't come up again until Nimue thinks she is dying at the end. Gawain is almost a legend himself until we meet him, and then he is almost more important to her than any other character. However, Nimue's inherent naivete and growth in maturity never waver throughout the story, which I found enjoyable. I think this would be a great title for older teens to have a powerful female character to read about who isn't a Mary Sue, but who wouldn't mind the graphic descriptions of violence described here, which will surely be made more impressive by the full-color art provided by the one and only Frank Miller. I am sure the TV series will be spectacular, but I would imagine there will be criticism of the way the Church is portrayed.I received this Advanced Reader's Copy from the ALA Annual Conference panel performed by the author and illustrator.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    .5 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.brief summaryA deeply disappointing reimagining of Arthurian legend with Nimue as the protagonist.full reviewThe best word to describe this book is disappointing. The prose is simplistic, almost juvenile, and pairs well with the illustrations. For those who picked up this book excited by Frank Miller's involvement .5 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.brief summaryA deeply disappointing reimagining of Arthurian legend with Nimue as the protagonist.full reviewThe best word to describe this book is disappointing. The prose is simplistic, almost juvenile, and pairs well with the illustrations. For those who picked up this book excited by Frank Miller's involvement, prepare to be disappointed. The illustrations look like the sort of artwork a middle school student might doodle on their notebook if they were forced to use Microsoft Paint and a glitchy mouse to do so. However, since the text reads rather like the sort of quasi-fanfiction a middle school student might write after deciding the Arthurian tales needed more genocide and lepers, the illustrations and the text are well-matched, with neither able to redeem the other. The upside to the immature prose is that it makes for very fast reading, so one need not linger on this unnecessarily lengthy book overlong.Part of what makes the prose so off-putting is that it seems to be a completely different story which the author could not sell on its own merits, and so decided to replace key names with figures from the tales of Arthur and his knights and call it a reimagining. No single character in this story bears the slightest resemblance to their namesake, to the point where it becomes cringeworthy to even claim a connection between them. The naming conventions, aside from those lifted from Arthurian lore, are jarringly inconsistent with regard to origin and bespeak a haphazard approach to research that carries throughout. As with the eventual involvement of Norse raiders. (view spoiler)[Guinevere turns out to be one of these, despite the fact that she has a very French name. (hide spoiler)]Plotwise, there is a leading lady (seemingly arbitrarily) named Nimue who was raised by Druids and Feyfolk. She performs a weirdly emo version of a frolic through the text, wielding a mythical sword that behaves like a bloodthirsty version of Tolkien's One Ring as she gathers Fey followers who see her as a prophesied Chosen One. She meets other name checked Arthurian characters and deals with each of them utterly inconsistently. She leads a rebellion of the Fey against Uther Pendragon (who, honestly, didn't seem to care about her and the Fey one way or another until she forced his hand) and the Red Paladins, who are a religious order bent on the destruction of the Fey and her original enemies. The (plague-ridden) Pope comes to Wales to personally oversee the genocide. Merlin is involved, but he's a magicless sot who turns out to be almost as superfluous to the story as the Leper King, who might be Fey, might be a crimelord, and really only exists to pad Merlin's bits of the story. (view spoiler)[Merlin also turns out to be Nimue's father, because of course he is. He even gets all paternal and proud of her childish Good Guy decisions toward the end. (hide spoiler)]It would be impossible to recommend this book to anyone in good conscience, except as evidence of the use of namedropping and rehashing classics in the publishing industry. Do not buy it. Do not read it. You will be Disappointed with a capital D.rating scale1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it.2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it.3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it.4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it.5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I was given the ARC of Cursed by Thomas Wheeler through NetGalley and when I read the premise, I was really excited. I didn’t realize that this was the book that was going to be the Netflix show with Katherine Langford. I will say that is sat in my NetGalley shelf for longer than it should have been, so after I was done inhaling the audiobooks for the Illuminae Files, I dove in into the world of the Fey. This review will be spoiler-free as much as I can make is spoiler free.The story is about Ni I was given the ARC of Cursed by Thomas Wheeler through NetGalley and when I read the premise, I was really excited. I didn’t realize that this was the book that was going to be the Netflix show with Katherine Langford. I will say that is sat in my NetGalley shelf for longer than it should have been, so after I was done inhaling the audiobooks for the Illuminae Files, I dove in into the world of the Fey. This review will be spoiler-free as much as I can make is spoiler free.The story is about Nimue who is part of the Sky Folk who are a Fey clan. She has the ability to connect to The Hidden, which leaves her as sort of an outcast. Her mother is the Arch Druid of her clan until an attack by the church leave Nimue with the Sword of Power (aka Excalibur, but not). She is on a mission to see Merlin regarding the Sword of Power, when along the way she realizes that she can do a lot of damage with said sword. It has a very One Ring vibe to it (she could hear it call to her), and I kept waiting for her to call it her preciousssss half way through the book. In her journey she meets Arthur (yes, that Arthur), Morgan (his half-sister), and other Fey clans. The Fey clans are being exterminated by the Church, and Uther Pendragon, the king at this time, is doing nothing about it because he’s useless. Oh, and Merlin was his right-hand man until he was not. Nimue becomes Queen of the Fey as she encourages the Fey to fight back. Character wise, I felt that Nimue had the most growth in this book, but it did really focus heavily on her. Arthur was a side character, and although he has his own personal little journey of the self, we don’t really see it until he goes against what he’s normally done all his life. We see the destruction of Nimue’s family and clan through her eyes, and we see as she struggles to become what she feels she needs to be for her people. The Sword of Power speaks to her, and she feels invincible with it. She’s 16, clueless, and is trying to play at Queen. If Wheeler was trying to show her as anything else, he failed. You could see just how of her league she really was, even with the help of her friends. In the end, it ends up biting her in the ass, but that’s giving the story away.As far as the story goes, it was fun in some parts, but it didn’t engage me like I thought it would. I found myself falling asleep during my lunch break while reading it. It wasn’t boring, but it wasn’t captivating either. I actually took a day to let the story sit with me, to savor it in my head before giving a proper review of it. Yet, I find it a bit unmemorable. It didn’t stick with me like other books have. I didn’t have the urge to read it when I had down time. It was forgettable to me, even with the ending which leads me to believe there will be another book. I wanted more. It felt as if this story has been told just better. There are illustrations throughout the book by Frank Miller (of the 300 and The Watchmen fame), and they were atrocious. I hated his illustrations, and the book would have been better off without them. I definitely will say that it deserves a read. I’m always for young girls kicking butt and taking names, especially when it comes to the injustices of the world. Nimue is a fun character, and if there is a second book, I’ll definitely read it to see what happens to her story.I was given this ARC for an honest review through NetGalley.
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