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December 4, 2023

This Cursed Light by Emily Thiede ~ a Review

by MK French

Six months after saving the island, Alessa wants her happily ever after with Dante. He's convinced the gods aren't finished with them, and a kiss from her could kill him now that he doesn't have powers. They plan to find the exiled ghiotte to restore his powers and create an army powerful enough to save them all. Alessa has her own secret, and the mysterious city of the banished could possibly be more dangerous than they thought. Dante must ultimately choose which side he is on.

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book cover of young adult fantasy novel This Cursed Light by Emily Thiede
December 2023; Wednesday Books; 978-1250794079
ebook, print (448 pages); YA fantasy

This Cursed Light
is the sequel to This Vicious Grace and is the second half of the Last Finestra duology. It begins several months later, with much of the damage from the Diverando fixed up. Alessa has headaches and flashes of others' emotions from time to time. Dante is hiding how inadequate he feels without the healing factor that made him a ghiotte, even if the people had historically persecuted them. With a prophecy of sorts hanging over their head about the onslaught from the gods coming, it's a ticking time bomb that they're planning to fight against. Their best bet is finding the other ghiotte and hoping that they would help fight the creatures, but convincing them is no easy task. Understandably, they're not too enthusiastic about saving the people who would have cheerfully killed them all and aren't quite ready to be an army. 

Alessa and Dante tell each other and the people around them half-truths, and dance around their feelings for one another. They fully acknowledge that they love each other, but the ghiotte would never accept the Finestra among them, and Dante has to hide so many things as he tries to get their cooperation. In the midst of this drama are some fun moments between them as well as with the Fontes that Alessa had collected to help her defeat the creatures. They all play off each other beautifully, and I enjoyed their friendships. This plays a role all the way to the end, which felt a bit like a deus ex machina. (Or Dea ex machina in this case?) But you know what? I don't mind, there deserves to be a happily ever after, and the team has certainly earned it.

Buy This Cursed Light at Amazon

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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