Evangeline Fox always believed she’d find herself inside of a fairytale one day.
SERIES: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Book #3)
LENGTH: 385 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction
RELEASE DATE: 24 October 2023
Two villains, one girl, and a deadly battle for happily ever after…
Evangeline Fox ventured to the Magnificent North in search of her happy ending, and it seems as if she has it. She’s married to a handsome prince and lives in a legendary castle.
But Evangeline has no idea of the devastating price she’s paid for this fairytale. She doesn’t know what she has lost, and her husband is determined to make sure she never finds out.
But first he must kill Jacks, the Prince of Hearts. Blood will be shed, hearts will be stolen, and true love will be put to the test.
The air crackled with something that made Evangeline think of little sparks. Then she felt a tingling on her wrist in the shape of her broken heart scar.
Jacks had arrived.
A Curse for True Love was… okay. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just kind of gotten tired of this trilogy, but it didn’t do too much for me.
Then again, I’ve had a lot of time to ruminate on the first two books. And I gotta say – I think a few of my opinions have shifted a little. That, and I just can’t with the stuff about this series that has been annoying me, anymore.
I honestly don’t have a lot to say here. Let’s get on with this review.
“This is a very bad idea,” Jacks murmured.
“I would have thought you liked bad ideas.”
“Only when they’re mine.”
• The setting ▼
The thing that I’ve always enjoyed the most about OUABH and its sequels has definitely been the setting. I love the way that Garber describes the world that she’s created. It just sounds so beautiful and mystical. Like a fairytale (which is almost certainly what she was going for, judging by her main character).
I still love the Magnificent North. It’s still one of my favorite new worlds that I’ve read about in the last few years. I love how it just reeks of magic, and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface with this mystical land in this trilogy.
• The pacing ▼
The pacing of A Curse for True Love and its predecessors has always been nice and brisk, which has always been one of my favorite things about them. I love a good fast-paced book. It’s just so… fast. Which makes it a pretty quick read – I’ve never taken more than like three hours to read any of the OUABH novels.
She needed to back away, to call her for guards, to tell him to leave. Her heart pounded impossibly fast.
But she found herself saying, “You’re not here to hurt me.” “You don’t know that.” A muscle ticked in his jaw. “This morning I nearly tossed you over the side of a bridge.”
“You also just killed someone to save my life.”
“Maybe I just enjoy killing people.”
• The characters ▼
Even though I enjoyed a few of the characters a lot in the first book, and even a little bit in the second, I’m kind of just done with them now. My irritation has reached a crescendo.
Evangeline Fox has always annoyed me somewhat, but I’m just tired of her. She was essentially reset at the end of the last book (spoilers?) and I hate that trope. Ironically enough though, she actually seemed to be more proactive than she’s ever been before, which is something that I found hilarious. But yeah, she’s probably in the bottom half of my protagonist rankings.
Jacks was interesting to me at first, and I still find him to be entertaining at times. But even his character has worn me down. I also don’t really understand why Evangeline is so into him – he’s such an ass. Like, he’s flirty and a douchy kind of charming to read about, but if he was a real life romantic prospect… ugh. No thank you.
Apollo also had a very interesting character assassination at the end of TBONA (book two). And now he was a total piece of work here – an even bigger a-hole than Jacks. But he was entirely devoid of personality, and frankly, a actual character the first two books, so it didn’t feel like I got ripped off or anything.
• The plot ▼
The plot has always been a little bit nonsensical and convoluted, but I found it to be the most noticable here. It also brought more attention to the storytelling flaws retroactively in the books one and two.
Even though the novels in this trilogy are very fast-paced, the plot ebbs and flows strangely. So there are parts where nothing happens, and then suddenly too many things are happening too fast. And nothing really has time to breathe.
Also, the OUABH books have a problem with major plot threads being ultimately pointless. For example, many of the events of book two. These problems continue in A Curse for True Love.
• The romance ▼
The romance in this trilogy has always been slightly ick to me. Jacks has never read like a healthy romantic partner, and there has never been any chemistry between Evangeline and Apollo.
And that has not changed in book three, believe me. If anything, the relationships are even more toxic. Jacks seems excessively unhealthy at a few points here, and Apollo is straight up Tamlin on steroids. Seriously, if you thought Tamlin from ACOTAR was bad and you hated him, you will absolutely despise Apollo here.
She remembered telling herself that night not to turn around. Not to look. And when she had looked at him, she’d tried to glance for only a second.
But it had been impossible. Jacks had been the moon and she’d been the tide, controlled by his impossible force. That much had not changed.
Even though the list of stuff I didn’t like is longer than the things I did like, I still found myself rating this kinda high. I think it’s because I loved the Stuff I Liked, combined with some nostalgia. All in all, A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber is an okay book.
If you liked the Caraval trilogy and the first two books in the Once Upon a Broken Heart trilogy, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Also, if you like whimsical, mystical fairytale-like stories, you might like this too.
Have you read A Curse for True Love yet? What did you think of it? Have you read any of Stephanie Garber’s other novels? What did you think of them?
Thanks again for reading, and I hope you have a whimsical day/night!
See ya ~Mar