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  • A Curse of Blood & Stone

  • Fate of Wrath and Flame, Book 2
  • By: K. A. Tucker
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
  • Length: 15 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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A Curse of Blood & Stone

By: K. A. Tucker
Narrated by: Elizabeth Klett
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Summary

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker comes the second novel in her Fate and Flame series, an adult fantasy story that should be listened to in series order.

“I do not know how to love you and be a good king to my people.”

From jewelry thief to interloper to queen-in-waiting, Romeria flees Cirilea a traitor to all. But the yawning distance between her and Zander troubles her more than any king’s bounty on her head. While Zander may have escaped by her side, he seeks to regain his throne, and no immortal will ever welcome her as Islor’s queen. She fears it won’t be long before Zander abandons her as everyone else she’s ever loved has.

Zander sacrificed his crown to save Romeria’s life, yet he dreads what her existence means for the future of his realm. As Ybaris’s plan to destroy Islor unfurls, a more insidious threat, orchestrated by rival fates, lurks beneath the surface. He can offer his allies no honest explanation for why he protects the Ybarisan princess and takes counsel from Queen Neilina’s caster, leading those closest to doubt his wisdom—and his allegiance.

As their company aims for the Venhorn Mountains, steered by prophecy, Romeria is desperate to wield her newfound abilities to undo Princess Romeria’s treachery before the kingdom tears itself apart. But with the mortal rebellion swelling, bolstered by the gift of Ybaris’s poison, it may already be too late.

©2022 Kathleen Tucker (P)2022 Tantor

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  • Audible Addict
  • 31-10-22

Counting the Days Until Book 3 Release

This series may well be my favorite series in this genre. It is practically perfect in every way. While we're borrowing from Mary Poppins, KA Tucker must have a magic bag of inspiration. I wish she wrote more in the genre - alas, her other books have romance, but not are not set in a fantasy world. This book, IMO, is fantasy romance done very very well. I've often wondered at the bad reviews for books that I've read and loved - and it really just comes down to expectations and preferences. We all have something we want to get out of our escape to an audio book, and it's a shame that the right books can't always be matched with the correct people. I will do my best to steer you in the right direction for you, whether that's towards or away from this book. If it's not for you I don't want you to read it, be disappointed, and then leave a bad review because I love this book!

Some things this book has that I love (in no particular order):

*Multiple, well developed supporting characters - I'm equally attached to some of the secondary characters in this story - and that's a really important aspect for me to make the story come alive and feel realistic
*Wonderful narrator able to do several accents and pitches differently so I almost always knew who was talking by just listening - also she reads/interprets the book how I would if I was reading it off the page in my mind; not too dramatic, but you can really feel the emotions come through in her voice and it makes the characters come alive. BRAVO for choosing a good narrator - that choice ruins so many books.
*Balanced and imaginative plot that kept my interest and kept a good pace
*Some unexpected twists and turns without an underlying uneasiness that the two main characters won't end up together or die (for instance I was not a fan of having the rug pulled out from under me in Sarah Maas' ACOTAR - I couldn't get into the next book). I'm sure there will be some reviews that say there wasn't enough "world building" or the plot wasn't substantial enough - this is where differing expectations come into play. I need the world building to be realistic enough that I can "get into" the book, but it doesn't have to be intricately developed for me to like this sort of a book. I think this book accomplishes a solid amount of world building for a fantasy romance.
*One horse trope - I'm a sucker for this
*This is a series - I like this in and of itself. As hard as it is to start a new series and then wait a year in between books, when I get invested in a story I don't want it to be over in one book - I want to keep learning what happens next for the characters.
*The cliff hangers for the first, and now second book are gut wrenching in that it feels impossible to wait another year to find out what happens, but wonderful in that they are creative transitions in the story. The cliff hanger at the end of this book was even better than the first. If you can't stand the cliff hangers, maybe just put these on your list for a couple years from now and it will be a treat to listen all at once.
*If you read the first book, you know that the vast majority of the story was told from the female main character's POV. In this book, we hear from both the male and female main characters - it shocked me a little the first time the narrator read a chapter from the male main character's POV, but I think it adds to the story - I really liked it. We even get to hear from a third POV in the final chapters, but I won't say more about that to avoid spoilers.
*This book is well written. There are few repetitive phrases beyond things like "hard length" in the sex scenes. It does not come across as unedited and sloppy like a lot of books in this genre.
*The romance in the first book is a slow-burn that manages to feel engaging throughout almost the entire book, and this book kept it going 100%... I'm not really certain how to explain that except to say it was equally satisfying to me throughout the book whether it was "building or happening".
*The emotions of all the characters were very well written and led naturally to a handful of intimate sex scenes (maybe 4?) in which the emotional interaction continued between the characters, not just descriptions of body parts and positions and objectifying the characters. It struck a great balance for me. Was it the spiciest book I've ever read and liked, no. But it also didn't feel completely PG-13. To try to give you some reference - less than Kristen Ashley's The Beginning of Everything series, maybe about the same or a touch less than Jennifer Armentrout's From Blood and Ash series, and more than Sarah Maas' Crescent City series (which for me was not spicy enough).
*It did NOT turn into a young adult book masquerading as a fantasy romance; I find that too many YA books are mis-recommended via Audible's suggestions and are lumped into the same category.

If I think of anything else I will try to remember to come back and add it. I apologize for any poor grammar or typos, it was either try to write something quickly or not write anything at all with my current timeline. I wanted to write something to help this book find readers who will appreciate it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • rissa
  • 14-12-22

Storyline is interesting and very entertaining

I can honestly say that I didn’t think I would like this series but this is book 2 and I can’t wait for book 3. The read seemed a little bit robotic but after a few chapters, I didn’t mind.

I would definitely recommend!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • chelseaelewis
  • 23-01-23

The narrator isn’t bad like i read.

You all were way to hard on the narrator. She did great and deserves kinder words than I read prior to listening. I dare say you all couldn’t have bested her. Be nice.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pattie
  • 05-12-22

I love Romi but can't seem to like Xander....

I don't know if I'm spelling the name wrong, but who cares; I just can't make myself like Xander, as much as I want to. Hes so extremely judgemental and distrustful, as he also turns around and lies to whomever when it suits him after claiming to hate it. I love Romi's character, and she makes me laugh and smile with her wit and attitude, but I hate how they keep her in the dark all the time and how Xander is a part of that even though he claims not to want to be. The hypocrisy runs deep in this story, but it's a really good one regardless. I have just been waiting for Romi to become a bad*** and I'm so happy that day has finally come in this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maria Cook
  • 22-11-22

Not bad at all

This story for me was like listening the most insane tea a friend would have to offer.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-11-22

I love this story, but the narrator… horrible!

I don’t know how I made it through the first book with such fond memories since I know it had the same narrator. She makes Romeria sound like a whiny, witless brat. She does a good job with everyone but her! It made me start to wish Zander would leave her. Such a shame. It is a great story. I just hated it when the heroine talked.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A_Apple
  • 04-11-22

Cannot wait for the third book!!

Pros:
Good world building
Enjoyed the storyline & the character development
Fun banter between the characters

Cons:
The cliffhanger - I wanted to know what was in that letter! The book should have ended after he read the letter.
Too-wordy, I found myself fast forwarding during some of the FMC's internal debates and the fight scene in the mountains
FMC is annoying at times - I am ready for her to become a bad a** already. I feel like she's immature at times and relies on other characters too often. I rolled my eyes at her quite often during this book, but less than I did during the first, so that's progress I guess.