There are few series that actually leave me impatient for the following instalment. Once Upon a Broken Heart has been one of the few to leave me itching to find out what happens next, so when A Curse for True Love arrived on my doorstep I dropped all of my plans so I could find out exactly what happens next for Evangeline and Jacks.
Similarly to The Ballad of Never After this picks up immediately after the last page of the book that came before. Evangeline has woken up with her memories missing in the arms of a prince who claims to be her husband.
She doesn’t quite trust him, even if he is handsome and – having no recollection of either of the two books that came before – she feels as if she has woken up in a fairy tale that doesn’t quite fit. Her last memories place her back in her hometown and not in the mysterious North, nobody will give her straight answers to her questions and it seems that every day someone attempts to kill her.
I do think her memory loss is handled beautifully, especially if you’ve not read their story in a year like myself. The story isn’t overly loaded with reminders of the first two books but there are subtle details that spark a sense of familiarity that really immerse you in Eva’s struggle to remember what happened to her.
We flip between Evangeline, Jacks and Apollo’s perspective which is fascinating as they’re each keeping secrets from each other while wholeheartedly believing they’re the only person doing the right thing – even if they’re in direct contrast with each other. Prince Apollo has supposedly risen from the dead and his people have barely noticed, throwing the young ruler into an identity crisis where he’s forced to battle his ego – and he doesn’t always come out better for it.
Evangeline has been given a life of luxury that she once dreamed of but couldn’t be less happy, I was reminded of the beginning of A Court of Mist and Fury when Feyre is held hostage by her beloved. Jacks is so distraught from having seen Evangeline die before travelling through time to save her that his sole focus is on keeping her safe, even if it doesn’t keep her happy. With a target on his back and the inability to stay away from his Little Fox he finds himself lurking around the palace more and more often.
While her memory remains missing, her feelings manage to stay present. Stephanie manages to beautifully capture emotional connections and levels of comfort, or discomfort, that linger in the body regardless of memory. This sugar-coated fairy tale is addictive and fast-paced. It had me shouting at the pages at some point begging for memories to surface and stolen hearts to be returned.
Magic and curses dance their way through the page and morals are brought into question. I was holding my breath right through to the very last page with it not being completely clear who was going to take their last.
On finishing it I immediately want to dive into the Caraval series to meet the famous Donatella and meet the Jacks that once was. This is the only spin-off series I’ve come across that manages to outshine the original series and I can’t wait for Booktok to be flooded with readers who are ready to talk about heart-wrenching moments beside trees.
It’s not a surprise that on the week of release, this book skyrocketed to the number one most gifted in Epic Fantasy for Young Adults on Amazon. You can get it on Audible, Kindle for £9.99, hardcover for £15.59 or Waterstones for £16.99.
Read more book reviews from Jada Jones:
- Once Upon a Broken Heart
- The Ballad of Never After
- Check & Mate
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