Garden of the Cursed blends detective stories, curse breaking, and fantasy all at once. I loved Rose Pool’s last series, so my expectations were high….and they were smashed through! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Since fleeing the gilded halls of Evergarden for the muck-filled canals of the Marshes, Marlow Briggs has made a name for herself as the best godsdamn cursebreaker in Caraza City. But no matter how many cases she solves, she is still haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.
When Adrius Falcrest, Marlow’s old friend and scion of one of Caraza’s most affluent spell-making families, asks her to help break a life-threatening curse, Marlow wants nothing to do with the boy who spurned her a year ago. But a new lead in her mother’s case makes Marlow realize that the only way to get the answers she desperately seeks is to help Adrius and return to Evergarden society—even if it means suffering through a fake love affair with him to avoid drawing suspicion from the conniving Five Families.
As the investigation draws Marlow into a web of deadly secrets and powerful enemies, a shocking truth emerges: Adrius’s curse and her mother’s disappearance may just be clues to an even larger mystery, one that could unravel the very foundations of Caraza and magic itself.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
As a fan of Katy Rose Pool’s work previously, the bar was even higher for me. But Garden of the Cursed exceeded expectations. It was like a mystery detective story meets magical curse breaking all with a second chance romance element to it. The secrets of the past are never dead in Garden of the Cursed. I basically immediately loved Marlow and how determined she is, how reckless, and how cunning. The world of Garden of the Cursed is one where people are being pulled by strings out of their hands.
Garden of the Cursed is a captivating and exciting ride. It forces us to question everyone’s motivations, their ambitions, and their secrets. For Marlow, it’s full of the truths we discover when we curse break – all the people we envy enough to take action, the ones we hope to love. It’s very much a society where the gilded and the rotten are all swirling together. All the ways we hurt each other.
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For fans of Katy Rose Pool’s previous series, there is the same dedication to characters and an intriguing world. Garden of the Cursed has a foundation of people, the family who can lie to us, hurt us, and try to protect us for their own gain. And the found family and friends who support us at our worst. Find Garden of the Cursed on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & Blackwells.