Review: The Royal Curse (Twilight Mages #1) by Elliot Grayson

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Dawn mage. Twilight mage. Cursed, useless, damaged, dangerous…

His birth magic leaves Prince Nikola with nothing but bad choices: live as another man’s possession, subject to his whims and his desires, or remain dependent on a potion that stunts his powers and prevents him from knowing love.

Andreas vows to protect the prince with his life—whether Nikola wants him to or not. After all, the queen pays his soldier’s wage. Nikola’s nothing but a job to do.

But when they find themselves stranded, with Nikola’s potion running out, Andreas has to…improvise. Because what Prince Nikola needs to survive is the opposite of a lowly guard’s respectful protection.

It should’ve been only one night. Just until the potion’s refilled. But now that Nikola’s had Andreas’s touch, he craves Andreas again and again. He shouldn’t. But he—and his magic—can’t live without it…

The Royal Curse is a high-heat MM fantasy romance with a stubborn prince, an even more stubborn soldier, and cursed magic that can’t be denied. There is an on-page attempted sexual assault that is not between the main characters. HEA guaranteed.

SPOILERS

Review:

Dear Elliot Grayson,

You contacted DA, where I review, with a review inquiry for this book. I however decided to wait till the book came out on KU simply because I got superstitious recently. I take very few reviewing copies, and I still got burned with them quite a few times.Basically this book was not for me. There was some occasional humor that I liked and some sex scenes were really hot when it was not described in a very over the top way. However the blurb for the book says *high heat fantasy* right? Obviously, obviously I expected the two men to have sex on page in the book. But I also expected fantasy and the fantasy settings were so incredibly thin and even worse for me, the explanation given as to why things were happening or not happening were so thin.

Let’s look at the main premise of the story. Prince Nikola’s magic is killing him and he has to take a potion to suppress it or he has to sex it out with the person of his choosing (small mercies for that) who has to dominate Nikola a/k/a Niko in bed, then Niko does not need the potion and his magic will work fine.

I understand that all kinds of what ifs can work in fantasy, but I still would like a satisfactory explanation as to the more outlandish ones. And to me, his magic only working if he is being dominated in bed is silly. I mean I have read stories with sex magic in it for example (not that many and it had been awhile but I certainly have read them), when it amplified the magic of the character. Why does only domination work here?

We do get one explanation about one God cursing twilight mages, but I have read this one page or half a page and I am still scratching my head as to why this is happening.

I did try to merrily move along and hoped to see how Prince Nikola’s magic will work when he was being dominated by Andreas. Eh, I will speculate that all of this was done for that one moment when he got to save Andreas’ life, but I still do not know what else his magic can do besides tearing off trousers and throwing them out of the window (yes, that was the humor I liked )

Besides that magic that works when Andreas getting all the topping that he deserves, I am still not sure why this story was called a fantasy. I know, I know even a nominal amount of magic is enough to call the setting a fantasy, but I wanted more of that.

I wanted adventure, danger and fun. There was a short moment during their trip when the author actually wrote some suspense and adventure, but for me it was just resolved and done too fast.

Starting at the moment of them getting together when it was needed to help Niko at about 36% of the story, for the most part they were having sex and at some point being in love with the interruption that was supposed to be conflicts between the main couple? “Oh no, he is embarrassed at being with me, no you are embarrassed, how could he? How could you? Let us go back to having sex again.”

Oh, I liked Niko’s family, mostly his sisters. I thought his mother the queen was an idiot. Do not get me wrong, I never held it against a fictional mother if she is being over bearing *if there are reasons for that*. She is a mother after all.

Why was his mom being overbearing exactly to the point that she did not want to let her son go on a trip which could presumably make his life much easier? Potion was working for him (before the trip) – so why could he not go?

Grade: C-

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