Book Review – Cursed by Sue Tingey

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the first book of the Soulseer Chronicles, Marked, by Sue Tingey. It was more than good enough for me to want to read and review the second. Before we get to my opinions, here is the cover:

Gorgeous, isn’t it?!

And here is the blurb:

Lucky de Salle thought she was human, then she discovered she was a daemon princess – and now it’s looking like she’s something much more…

Lucky knows she has some hard choices to make: will it be Jinx, the sexy Deathbringer, or Jamie, the gorgeous Guardian?

But before she can even start to enjoy life in the Underlands, her sister’s men are slain and Kayla herself is kidnapped by the Sicarii, assassins-for-hire members of a death-cult.

They can’t be working for Lucky’s nemesis, for Henri le Dent is being held in the court’s dungeons, at least according to court torturer, Amaliel Cheriour – but the Chambers of Rectification are empty, both Amaliel and Henri have fled and it soon becomes clear that Kayla is just bait to catch Lucky.

Lucky’s emerging powers are growing, and Amaliel intends to use her for his own nefarious purposes – though first he has to get past her Guards, not to mention Lucky herself.

Interesting, huh?

My review:

Book Review – Cursed by Sue Tingey

Cursed is the second book in the Soulseer Chronicles. Before reading it, I wondered if it was going to be one of those awkward, fill-in type books, full of waffle, bridging the gap until the exciting third and final book came along. I’m very happy to say that this wasn’t the case.

The action began early on and continued throughout the book. There were many shocks and surprises which drew me further into the story and I didn’t want to put it down. The narrative was smooth and flowed well. It captured my imagination and I found myself by Lucky’s side, like a shadow.

The plot was inventive with many twists and turns. It was set mainly in the daemon world and gave a greater insight into the machinations that existed there. It was interesting to see how Ms Tingey played the good and evil factions against each other and it made the story all the more creative.

In Cursed, you get to see a great deal more of the landscape and make-up of the world. The descriptors used brought the land of daemon kind to life, painting it gloriously like an artist would a canvas. There was a richness to it which was by no means overdone.

Lucky shone in Cursed. She grew and became a more rounded character, fulfilling her role with aplomb. As she learns what she can do, it brings a new dimension to her character which is both thought-provoking and fascinating. There were one or two areas where she didn’t tap into her emotions as well as she could have done, especially when something devastating happened. Although her feelings were portrayed reasonably well, there wasn’t as much angst as might have been expected given the situation. However, that was just a minor blip for me. Overall, she started to gain increased mental strength, making her character more interesting and relatable.

Jamie showed more of his true colours in Cursed. He was still the nice guy, protecting Lucky, even from herself, but he proved to be not quite as trustworthy. As he became secretive and began to lie to Lucky, even she wasn’t sure if she could trust him at times. However, it became clearer that his feelings for Lucky had grown and he was more protective than ever. Jamie became more fascinating to me in this second book as more of his character was revealed and I look forward to seeing how Sue takes him forward into book three.

Jinx made me laugh. He’s such a cheeky chap with a teasing and provocative side which endeared me to him. Because of how forward he is, in the beginning it’s hard to tell whether he has genuine feelings for Lucky or if he’s just being playful. The answer becomes apparent as the book progresses. The rivalry between him and Jamie is well thought out and comes across well. I also saw more depth to his character. His title of The Deathbringer is well-deserved in this book and it was good to see that side of him. On occasions, he also portrayed a softer side to his nature — a stark contrast to his title — but nonetheless, enjoyable to read.

Other characters also grew in this book, making them much more interesting. The interactions of them with the three main characters added more intrigue and depth to the novel, proving again Tingey’s mastery of character development.

This book is another triumph for Sue and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in book three: Bound.

Highly recommended — a damn good read!

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cursed-Soulseer-Chronicles-Book-2/

If you missed my last post, here’s a bit about the author:

Sue Tingey is the author of the fantasy romance series The Soulseer Chronicles and lives with her husband in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

She spent twenty-eight years working for a major bank and, after taking voluntary redundancy in 2001, spent another fourteen or so years working as a practice manager for an arboricultural consultancy. She has now given up the day job to allegedly spend more time with her husband; he however has noticed that an awful lot more writing appears to be going on.

Sue admits that storytelling is her obsession and was thrilled when she was offered a three book deal by Jo Fletcher Books in 2014.

You can learn more about Sue on her website www.suetingey.co.uk or contact on Twitter @SueTingey

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Marked by Sue Tingey

I came across this book at FantasyCon two or three years ago. After meeting the author, and reading the blurb, I was sufficiently intrigued to want to read it. I thought the cover was pretty interesting too, and here it is.

Here is the blurb:

Lucky de Salle can see ghosts, but it’s daemons she should be worried about.

With no family and very few friends, Lucky’s psychic ability has always made her an outcast. The only person she can rely on is Kayla, the ghost girl who has been with her since she was born.

 But Kayla is not all that she appears.

 Then again, neither is Lucky…

MARKED is the first book in the Soulseer Chronicles and the debut novel for Ms Tingey.

It’s so hard to write a review of a book like this without it containing spoilers, but I’ll do the best I can. The action starts right at the beginning of the book and rolls on from there, gaining momentum with each turn of the page. The plot was certainly original and unlike anything I’ve read before. It was well planned and overall, the pacing was good. The writing flowed seemingly effortlessly and there was no point at which I was jerked out of the story by the use of an incorrect word or the phrasing/sentence structure being off. I did notice a few small mistakes, but that was obviously down to the publisher/editor rather than the author. They were things that should have been picked up during editing or proofreading.

Many surprises appeared during the story, none of which I saw coming, and that added to my enjoyment of it.

The author crafted her characters like an artist creates a masterpiece! Whether a leading character, or a minor one, each had a different personality and it was so well done that it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. All her characters were believable and relatable – even the baddies.

Lucky de Salle – the lead protagonist: She is so realistically designed, I could relate to her immediately. Yes, she can see the dead and is psychic, but in the normal course of events, it doesn’t faze her at all. However, not all the ‘dead’ are friendly and when she comes up against her first daemon, she is petrified. She can be feisty, stubborn, vulnerable, frightened, and normal; these are all traits everyone can relate to in one way or another, and it makes Lucky more real for me. Yet there’s much more to Lucky than I’m going to reveal here as I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of it.

Jamie – a leading protagonist: Known as ‘The Guardian’, Jamie is Lucky’s protector. He was a bit of an enigma for me. Most of the time, he appears kind and gentle, and obviously seems to have some feelings for Lucky. Yet, he can also be frightening, secretive (much to the chagrin of Lucky), and has a bit of a wicked streak. By the end of the book, very little is known about him or what it means to be ‘The Guardian’. I’m looking forward to learning more about him in book two.

Jinx – a leading protagonist: He is known as ‘The Deathbringer’, the polar opposite of ‘The Guardian’. I loved this character! Jinx is a cheeky daemon who is enrolled in Lucky’s guard. It becomes obvious early on that he fancies her. He’s generally happy, smiles a lot – Lucky often receiving mischievous or inviting ones – yet there’s a dark side to him which one might guess from his title. He’s a bit more transparent than Jamie, but I feel he has hidden depths that haven’t been revealed so far.

Kayla – is another major character and Lucky’s best friend, even though she’s a ghost. She can be nice and supportive however, Kayla can be one hell of a bitch, and callous. She cares about Lucky a great deal and tries to protect her, but does she have her own agenda? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Other notable characters – Lord Baltheza, Shenanigans, Kerfuffle, Pyrites, Amaliel Cheriour, and Vaybian.

Tingey uses description to good effect. You can easily picture a person or place in your mind and for me that adds a deeper dimension to the story. However, none of the portrayals or depictions are overdone.

In conclusion, this is a great debut novel. It’s gripping, unique, alluring, magical, and has a little romance thrown in. I loved this wonderful story and couldn’t put the book down. If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, I would highly recommend you spend some money and buy this. I’m sure that after reading it, you’ll be reaching into your wallet or purse to buy book two… I did and it’s a fantastic investment!

Look out for my forthcoming review of the second book in the Soulseer Chronicles – Cursed!

BUY THE BOOK FROM AMAZON: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marked-first-magical-Soulseer-Chronicles/

MEET THE AUTHOR:

Sue Tingey is the author of the fantasy romance series The Soulseer Chronicles and lives with her husband in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

She spent twenty-eight years working for a major bank and, after taking voluntary redundancy in 2001, spent another fourteen or so years working as a practice manager for an arboricultural consultancy. She has now given up the day job to allegedly spend more time with her husband; he however has noticed that an awful lot more writing appears to be going on.

Sue admits that storytelling is her obsession and was thrilled when she was offered a three book deal by Jo Fletcher Books in 2014.

You can learn more about Sue on her website www.suetingey.co.uk or contact on Twitter @SueTingey