A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark

A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark

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“I’ve gone my whole life feeling like I’m holding my breath. Like my lungs are burning. Like I’m desperately fighting for each gasp of air. But when you’re around, I can…breathe. And I’m furious at you, because when that ends…when we’re forced apart, I don’t know how I’ll take a full breath without you.”

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Risk everything for your kingdom, or be destroyed by it.

In a world darkened by deceit, the truth is a light that won’t be dimmed. Even when it reveals Lorian’s betrayals clearer than Prisca could ever want to see.

They call him the Bloodthirsty Prince.

A reign of terror by him has left a trail of blood across the continent. A trail that intertwines Prisca’s past and her parent’s past, with his.

To save her brother’s life, Prisca makes another bargain with the fae prince. Now Prisca is forced to work with him, travel to the fae lands, and spend every waking moment with the man who betrayed her.

All because the King has woven a deadly tapestry of manipulation, using those least suspected for his dark schemes.

There are no lines Prisca won’t cross to protect the people she loves. Prisca will work with former enemies, manipulate, blackmail, and deceive. She will swallow her pride, bury her battered heart, and cooperate with the fae to prepare as much as possible for the impending war.

Thoughts on the Plot

The plot of this book was just as intriguing as the first.

However, the stakes felt much higher in this book, but there is also far more for Prisca to lose.

Likewise, the pacing was also similar to the first book, with moments of slow followed by fast-paced moments.

One complaint I do have is the found family trope. Where I loved it in the first book, it felt a little bit too forced in the second book.

Almost as if Prisca had to feel the way she did, rather than trying to develop relationships with them.

I also absolutely HATED the cliffhanger at the end of this book. It felt so out of place and genuinely left me mad.

I enjoyed the first book I decided to continue the series, why the author decided to insult me as a reader by ending the book with a cliffhanger, I will truly never know.

That aside, I did enjoy the plot of this book and learning everything I did in this book.

Thoughts on the Characters

Alright, now to what I really disliked about this book.

Let me start with what I did like, Prisca and Lorien’s relationship growth.

The larger role of the side characters like Prisca’s brothers.

Now what I did not like –

Why did Prisca learn she is the heir to a Kingdom just to spend the whole book thinking that she is not good enough to be a Queen?

I mean, I get self-doubt, but after the flashback of all her parents/grandmother did to save their land, how could Prisca not feel any sort of pride in coming from that lineage????

Also Lorien! Deciding that he and Prisca are mates (which is apparently super rare) and then deciding not to say a single word????? It gives -Rhys deciding Feyre doesn’t need to know her pregnancy could kill the 3 of them – vibes.

The side characters somehow felt one-dimensional here. I’m not sure if the author struggled with juggling so many characters got to her, but I wanted to learn more about Prisca’s biological brother.

The POV of the Queen also felt so unnecessary. It was just another aspect of the book that didn’t give us quite enough information to connect any actual dots.

I wish that it had just been Prisca’s and Lorien’s POV. I also wish they had communicated more with each other.

The smut was just as good as in the first book, but I wanted more depth.

Overall Thoughts

This book was just as entertaining as the first. I absolutely loved learning more about Prisca’s past and her future, as well as Lorien’s.

I genuinely felt sorry for him after learning more about how he earned his moniker bloodthirsty prince.

Similarly, I did enjoy the growth between Prisca and Lorien. Their relationship changes for the better between the first book and this one.

However, I despised the lack of communication due to the lack of trust, which primarily stemmed from Prisca’s lack of confidence.

Overall, this book gets a 4 out of 5 stars.

I have my gripes but it was a fantastic continuation of the Kingdom of Lies series. Though after the ending, I need the third book STAT!

Have you read this book/series?

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