This series continues to be quite good, and perfect to put you in the fall mood! While the writing and storyline in this one were, again, top notch, I dragged through this in comparison to the way I tore through Payback’s a Witch. It took me significantly longer and I’m hoping I figure out why in the process of reviewing!
At the Thistle Grove Beltane festival, Isidora Avramov witnesses an evil spell trying to take the power of one of the Thorn family girls as she competes to be May Queen. Being the daughter of an Elder, and of the house under suspicion for such dark magic, she is chosen to collaborate along with her arch-nemesis, Rowan Thorn, to investigate the incident.
Issa and Rowan are determined to be professional about their (ugly) history, but it doesn’t take long for the antics (and sparks) to start. To Rowan, it’s clear Issa has a lot more integrity and depth than he previously thought, and for Issa, Rowan’s good deeds might actually be just that: good deeds, and not the holier-than-thou attempts at the spotlight she thought they were. Through the investigation, they grow closer together, the closer they get to the answer: who cast that evil spell, and who has it out for the Thorns?
These books hit the perfect note for fall, even if this one is more spring-themed. Lana Harper, who, as it turns out, is actually Lana Popović (YA fantasy author), writes a great witch story. The magic is both in-depth and immersive while also remaining based just enough in reality that I, as someone who hates fantasy, still thoroughly enjoy it. I get into all of the Thistle Grove magic and history while I’m reading, even if that’s not usually my speed. She makes it easy to enjoy.
I really liked Issa and Rowan, but for some reason they just weren’t as magnetic as characters to me as Talia and Emmy were. I think there’s also something to be said about immersing yourself in a sequel, where the world has already been established and therefore doesn’t require further explanation. In Payback’s a Witch, we were learning of Thistle Grove for the first time, and therefore a lot of the content had to be directed at explaining that. There is less of this in From Bad to Cursed, so it seems as though the romance or mystery should be more present… but I think they were about the same, comparatively. Maybe I was more driven by the storyline of the first novel, whereas the mystery in this one is good, but not as high-energy. Sorry for all my rambling! Point being, I liked book one better, but this one is still really good and enjoyable.
I just got approved for Back in a Spell on NetGalley, so I’m sure I’ll be picking that up in the fall! I will definitely continue to be a reader of this series; I always enjoy them and I appreciate the diversity and inclusivity of the books, as well as the atmosphere of the setting and the magic.
Have a great weekend! 🙂