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June 29, 2021

How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison ~ a Review

by MK French

Princess Juliana is cursed to dwell in darkness, but she's too resourceful to stay in the castle dungeons. She explores the city at night and bumps into Warren Kensington, a member of a seafaring theater troupe. He breaks her curse, and they discover a plot against Juliana's father. The more Juliana learns, however, she realizes that the world is far more complicated than a fairy tale.

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How to Break an Evil Curse
July 2021; Black Spot Books; 978-1733599481
ebook, print (406 pages); YA fantasy
How to Break an Evil Curse
 is written in a conversational style, as if the author is speaking directly to you. In fact, there's often "you" or "dear Reader" dropped into the text. We also have occasional footnotes comparing the kingdom to our modern world. This is probably also why the opening chapters skip back and forth in time before we get to Julianna's birth and life in the dungeon. It's probably also why the language isn't as old-fashioned as magical fantasy novels usually are. For example, there's a "rockin' theater troupe" mentioned. 

Ultimately I kept getting thrown out of the story by the asides and the language used. The story itself is fine, and I liked Julianna and Warren. Several characters around them were caricatures of people, and I would've liked to reach through the pages to smack them upside the head, especially the king. The queen, being an utter flake, is someone I'd rather shake. Julianna discovers a lot of truths, but like the meandering bits of story interspersed within the main one, there really isn't a sense of finality with the ending.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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