Title: Curse Breaker: Enchanted
Author: Melinda Kucsera
Date of publication: September 27th, 2016
Number of pages: 565
Series: Curse Breaker Saga
Curse Breaker: Enchanted – Book 1
Stars and Angel’s Sing – Novella
Standalone – First book, so yes
Where you can find this book – Amazon
Secrets threaten, but magic kills.
Plagued by sanity-twisting magic, Sarn must unravel a deadly mystery. But he’s prevented at every turn because his life is not his own. Haunted by one of the victims, Sarn must find out what happened before the ghost drives him mad. As plans collide beneath ensorcelled boughs, one thing is certain. If Sarn can’t get his magic under control, he’ll never discover why enchanted trees committed murder. How far is he willing to go to find the answer? The search might cost more than his sanity. Exposing the truth might claim his life and destroy the secrecy protecting his son from a killer. Something lurks in the enchanted forest and its sights are set on Sarn and the magic in his blood. First, in a new series, Curse Breaker: Enchanted is a fast-paced, character-driven fantasy tale with a murderous twist. Sarn’s story unfolds over three action-packed days in his double life leading to a breathtaking finale.
Curse Breaker: Enchanted starts off Sarn hurrying through a crowded tunnel in the mountain fortress in which he lived. He was going to be late to his job and was cutting through an area that indentured servants were not allowed access. Indentured meaning slave. In this world, debts didn’t go away when parents died. Their children inherited them and if they couldn’t afford to pay them, then they became indentured servants until the debt is paid off.
Sarn, though, is a different case. To get his brother a chance to get out of the mountain fortress, he indentured himself to a very influential politician for 4 years. The time that it would take his brother to complete his classes and get into a university. The politician greed. In a few months, his brother will be graduating and Sarn will be a free man, he hopes.
See, Sarn is also something else. He is a mage and his magic manifests through his eyes. So they glow a luminous green. He has kept his magic a secret from everyone but his masters’, owner and his family. So, as he is hurrying through the crowd, he is doing so with his eyes shut and using a map that is generated by his magic in his head.
He eventually decides to take a turn and ends up on a balcony….where he senses that someone died in the enchanted forest. His magic wants out but after a struggle, Sarn is able to push it back down. Sarn decides that if he wants to meet with his masters on time, that he needs to jump off the balcony to the balcony below.
There, he is met by Gregori. Gregori is part of the Rangers….who Sarn works for as part of his indentured servant deal. He is blindfolded and brought back to the Ranger stronghold. Before they get there, they are met by Nolo, one of Sarn’s masters and they make haste to the enchanted forest. Once at the enchanted forest, he passed through the barrier that was erected and was taken by one of the trees that patrolled the forest. He was taken to a murder site….where the ghost of a child attached itself to him. He is upset to find out that the trees allowed the murder of a child inside its woods. He also keeps hearing the phrase eam’meye erator and seeing symbols flash across his eyes. Symbols that he has no idea what they mean.
He is met by Nolo at the murder site and Nolo is shaken to see how much Sarn is affected by seeing a dead child. He thought that it is because of something that happened in Sarn’s past. See, Sarn was found half-frozen in a snow bank with his younger brother 6 years earlier. He was sent to work in the mines, with his brother, and was caught in a cave-in. Only he and his brother were saved…..because of his eyes. Sarn was sent to live in an orphanage, where he was severely abused by the Headmaster. He ran away, with Miren, his brother, time and time again to the Rangers and he was returned 5 times. The last time, though, the Headmaster was caught and a severely injured Sarn was nursed back to health. After the execution of the Headmaster, he indentured himself to the politician and the rest was history. It was Nolo who would send Sarn back and it was Nolo who finally discovered the abuse. Nolo feels extremely guilty over what happened, as do the Rangers who had seen what happened.
So when Sarn starts breaking down in the forest, Nolo starts to go to him. But, as he does that, the Queen of All Trees shows up. She takes a hold of Sarn and starts to read his mind. She is upset because Nolo (who she refers to as the Painted Man) hasn’t healed Sarn and he was still broken on the inside. If he isn’t fixed, his magic will expand and kill him. She refers to Sarn as the Child of Magic. While trying to bind him to her, she finds that he is tied to the mountain. Looking through his memories, she finds out something that surprises her. Sarn has a son. The child of a loophole, who shouldn’t statistically be alive and who will be watched closely as he grew into his magic. Troubled by what she has seen and by two deaths that she must prevent (if Sarn died before his son turned seven, then his son would die with him), she released Sarn and goes on her way.
What will happen to Sarn and his son? Will Sarn come to terms with his past? Will he figure out why the ghost child was killed in the forest and why the trees killed his murderers? Will he gain control of his magic? Will he learn to trust anyone outside of his brother and son?
This is just a taste of what this book has to offer. If you want to learn more….read the book!!!
I really, really liked this book but it did take me a long time to get into it. The book starts off very slow and stays slow until about 50% of the book. But after that, the book picked up the pace. Now, I am not saying that I didn’t like that the book was slow in the beginning. Just the opposite, I loved it. The character and world building were phenomenal. The glimpses you got into Sarn’s past, but not by him…by others who were involved, was heartbreaking.
I did like Sarn. He is doing the best to raise his son and his brother by himself. He believes that he couldn’t go to the Rangers for help because they would separate him from his son…..because he thinks that they consider him mentally deficient. He does have a chip on his shoulder but if you were abused and kept running to people who you thought would help and they kept returning you to your abuser…..wouldn’t you have a huge chip too. Plus, he has his best friend, Shade, to deal with. Shade, who once protected him, has turned to drugs and is no longer reliable as a friend. Which pains Sarn to no end.
Of all the Ranger’s, I could not stand Gregori and I was so happy when his wife laid him out. Gregori had tests that he put Sarn through. All consisted of Gregori kidnapping Sarn, dropping him in a remote area and seeing if he came back. When I read that, I was like “WTH”???
I loved the Queen of All Trees. She was such a huge presence in this book and so feared by everyone….including Sarn. But she was creepy too. I mean, she was a huge walking tree that just showed up places and would call to Sarn to try to get him to come out to the enchanted forest. But, she also held a piece to the mystery of the ghost child….so I can see why she was trying to get Sarn to go out there. Still, creeped me out a little.
The end of the book was great and most of the storylines were wrapped up in very satisfying ways. The author did a great job setting up for book 2 and the epilogue….well I am very curious about where that goes.
How many stars will I give Curse Breaker: Enchanted: 4
Why: This is a wonderfully written book. While it starts off slow, it does pick up speed in the middle of the book. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and the plot is very engaging.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age Range: Young Adult
Why: Violence. No sex or language. Very clean.
**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**