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Summary

Lusielle's bleak, but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia, is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark.

Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.

©2013 Dora Machado (P)2014 Dora Machado
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about The Curse Giver

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Myth and fantasy

A great read as you travel the curse lords life and ancestry with the option maker being the heroine of the book br

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Amanda M. Gray
  • Amanda M. Gray
  • 31-03-15

4 POV

What could Dora Machado have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If the book was written from one character's point of view, or even two characters' points of view. Four characters was too much and I began skipping chapters if it was about the two characters I found boring. I also thought the dialogue was forced. It seemed like Ms. Machado was struggling to make her characters use odd words and phrases just because they sounded "old timey". Overall, most of her characters' dialogue was very stilted.

What character would you cut from The Curse Giver?

The manservant and the guard servio

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Valerie Ward
  • Valerie Ward
  • 23-07-15

Story went on forever.

The story was alright, but took too long getting there. The rhyming names made it annoying trying to remember when they were.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Heather
  • Heather
  • 16-06-22

Long And Intricate But Good

TLDR:
•Repetitive word choices and a pat ending hold back 5 stars.
•This is not a fluff romance in a fantasy setting.
•Extensive world building make for a continuously moving Epic Fantasy with Romance.

I bought this audio years ago but somehow never actually started listening because of the length; that is sad. Overall the quality of the narration was good. Melissa Reizian Frank uses a number of different voices to differentiate between characters. Her male voices are obviously male, her female voices female. If there is anything to nitpick it is that occasionally the cadence of the sentences feels wrong, as though she cuts a sentence in half and more than once I thought a sentence had one meaning before it continued and inferred something different.

As for the story itself, it is long but all epic-style tales generally end up being long. Dora Machado does an interesting job of splitting the narrative among five characters. The novel is bookended with a prologue and epilogue told by The Curse Giver. The main story bounces between Lusielle, Brennus, Harlow, Severow (unsure if that's how his name is spelled). Each scene moves the story along with none giving a retelling of a scene from other eyes.

The plotting was continuously well paced in my opinion. Some epic "journey" novels get stuck on details and or have side characters and plots that aren't very important but this one was very pared down. Each character and event leads to the next in a helpful way and each development happens in a different scenery so it doesn't get stale. I also personally loved the detail to world building. I'm sure some would roll their eyes at the amount if detail going in to some of the politics and religious beliefs but I found it grouded the book in a way that allowed the suspension of disbelief to take root.

Now what held it back from being perfect? Honestly a major factor was repetitive word choice. The same word or phrase would be used continuously one sentence after another. At one point I laughed out loud and had my husband listen to a small part of narration where Dora Machado wrote "he said", "she said" after each short snippet of dialog four times in a row. It essentially sounded like this example:

"I am going to say something," Harlow said.
"I am also going to say something," Neera said.
"But I don't want to be left out," Lusielle said.
"Fine, say what you want and let's go," Harlow said.

I am honestly not exaggerating in that example. The book could be almost 5 stars with just a decent editor to help fix repetitive word choices.

The final little bit to help push it over to a full 5 stars would need to be a little more expansion into explaining the ending. It was very... odd. Without giving anything away, the curse isn't exactly ended but suffice it to say Brennus does not die. The Curse Giver is outwitted in a strange way that opened up a loose end which then ALSO had to be quickly tied up. Overall I was left confused on exactly WHY Brennus would no longer die due to the curse.

The ending after the curse though, where Brennus and Lusielle speak of whether they would marry, I liked that part a lot. I felt it opened up room for interesting side stories that could come from the world that was built and dealing with all the characters involved. We got a small glimpse of the group's dynamic going forward in the epilogue but I personally would have been happy if it had continued for three or four "epilogues" showing the years passing. I doesn't NEED it for the story overall, but it's something that would have been nice to have seen.

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  • BurleyGirl26
  • 21-03-22

Narrator annoying. Story goes on… and on… and on…

I really wanted to like this one. First off, the narrator is super annoying. She reads the pages as if she is playing the part of a noble woman in a cheesy TV show. Totally over the top which takes away from the story.

I had no idea what was going on for the first several hours of this. It’s all over the place and the names of the characters on opposing sides are too similar. Very confusing. There is also a change in the primary voice to several different characters. Contributes to the confusion.

The dialogue between characters lacks depth, also feels cheesy. The author tries to make up for the lack luster dialogue with overly descriptive language about less critical pieces of the story, i.e. lists 40 ingredients in a remedy but doesn’t address the interaction between the two main characters.

The story is intriguing but the delivery is suboptimal. I feel like it would probably be better if 4-5 hours of material was cut out. I still listened to the whole thing because I wanted to know what happened next. I just had to take several breaks from that narrator.

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Profile Image for Vicki montgomery
  • Vicki montgomery
  • 29-08-20

I got lost a lot

I agree with the review I read about this book it was told in a 4 person dialogue I got lost I really can't see what happens in the book it wouldn't hold my interest

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Alexandra C.
  • Alexandra C.
  • 14-03-20

I love the book

It is complex, full of details, great romance, adventure and mystery. I just wish we get more details about the characters appearances, besides that, I love the book, the story and the characters. Definitely recommend this one.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mandy
  • Mandy
  • 07-03-20

pace and narrator

I struggled to finish this book not because of the story but the narrator. There was also a little bit of an issue with the pace of the story. Listen to the sample and if the narrator doesn't grate on your nerves like she did mine give it a shot.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan
  • 18-02-20

So good but so long.

I listened to this book at 1.45 beginning 1.60 end
Author: Dora Machado

It still amazes me how some people can have such a wonderful imagination. This story if full of Lords, ladies, Scorsese, curses, herbal medicines.
Plot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars
Story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars & why

Heat. none flames

Narrator.: Melissa Reizian Frank
Betrayal of the story.🥇 GOLD
why: When you have to keep looking to see that yes there is only 1 narrator then you know she's Great. New narrator for me but definitely going to look for more books betrayed by her.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 28-06-18

Good story

Overall good read. There were a few times I had to go over a section or chapter again to get all of the information and details, but even then a few things didn't make sense to me. I would definitely re-read to catch everything.

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  • Timster
  • 07-10-14

Excellent storyline, excellent performance

Any additional comments?

This is a story that is difficult to put down. The narration was well adapted to the characters and I could easily visualize the story as it unfolded. Great job and Thank you!