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Summary

A cursed symphony and magic that tells stories in your mind

High Mistress Talia is a hell-raising socialite with a murky past. But she has a bright future. Beautiful, rich, and a virtuoso harpist, she’s betrothed to the Count of Brecht. In short, she has it all. Or so it would seem.

Marla Holst is the new lady’s maid, but never has the "help" been so unhelpful. Marla, real name Mist, has only one mission: to stop the high mistress’ marriage. By any means necessary.

But complications abound. Talia’s disturbed daughter, a girl who can see into the future, is cursed with the stigma of a devil-worshipping father. The count’s father, the Duke of Rizak, is a recluse, too afraid of assassins to show his face. And all the nobility want to do is duel.

Meanwhile, the highlight of the season, a recital of the famous "Cursed Symphony", draws ever closer.

Epic fantasy for fans of Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, and V.E. Schwab.

©2021 Shaun Paul Stevens (P)2021 Shaun Paul Stevens

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  • Shivani
  • 15-03-22

Delightful narration.

A snarky assassin story.
The story follows Mist who is to go on an undercover assignment from the organization 'The Network' to stop the marriage of High Mistress Talia which in turn will have their desired political consequences. All the characters are fleshed out very well and the world-building is impressive, with some powerful magical elements.
Maria's voice captivated me thoroughly, capturing the likes of Talia as the self-absorbed nobility and Mist as a snarky but conscientious assassin perfectly.

**I received a free audiobook code from the author and am voluntarily leaving this review.**

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  • Joanna Davis
  • 22-02-22

Lesser good

This was not what I expected but I enjoyed it very much. The story line is original and carries well. Just enough mystery to keep you guessing yet enthralled. Wonderful characters. I usually don't like female narrators but Maria caught my attention and didn't grate on my nerves. I now wonder what is to happen next and will look for the next book. Well done.

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  • Kimberly
  • 15-02-22

Impressive assassin story

This story and narration definitely held my interest.
Really interesting tale from the point of view of a female assassin.

Not all is ever what it seems in court politics.
Narration fit the story well and the world building was fantastic.

Hea? …… I’ll leave that to your interpretation
Romance? No
SFC? Yes

Recommended 4 star read/listen

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  • Lisa T
  • 30-01-22

Interesting story and narrator is terrific!!

I have to initially acknowledge the talent of the narrator! Maria Marquis is excellent! I have listened to a few of her books… and she is just great. More please!! The story itself was interesting and kept my interest. I enjoyed it and would look for more books from this author! Enjoy!

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  • Mark Mieczkowski
  • 21-01-22

I want more! (no spoilers)

First, the narration was excellent. Maria Marquist did a wonderful job. Her narration added to my enjoyment and that's the point of an audio book.

Now for the story. Stevens has hit his stride as an author. I added him to my short list of authors I follow. I enjoy the literary aspects of writing and literature. Steven's delivers for me.

I particularly liked his use of fortune telling through his in-world equivalent of tarot cards. It added a wonderful blend of foreshadowing and mystery to the story that added a whole 'nother layer. i like literary techniques and craftsmanship. This did it form me!

My only complaint was that the ending was a little abrupt. It kinda bypassed what arguably should have been a really tricky situation. I felt like a more detailed and drawn out ending could have explored more of the human condition and character development for the protagonist. It would have also exploited some fantastic tension. I know that's cryptic but I only do spoiler free reviews. I don't want to spoil anything!

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  • audrey
  • 21-01-22

Loved this book!

Enjoyed this book every much. I wish it was a little bit longer I thought it ended a little too quickly and wasn’t ready to leave this world. Will definitely follow this authors to read more of his book.

I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator was fantastic.