Author: Thomas Wheeler
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Soon to be a Netflix original series!
The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.
Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.
But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?
Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…
That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.
Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.
But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.
Cursed is an Arthurian retelling.
Overall, I thought the story was well-paced. It was action-packed, engaging, and eventful. I found the last half of the story a lot more intriguing than the first half due to the story-building. It was like everyone was meeting at the same place and battle would soon ensue.
I felt like the story lost a little of the grandeur that we see in our original tale of Arthur. Everyone is a little dumbed-down, or maybe just not as invincible as we are shown. Merlin is a drunk, Nimue is the new Arthur, Arthur is the lovesick dog, and Lancelot is probably my favorite character. The real stars of the show and most relatable were the side characters: Lancelot, Iris, and Morgan. I want to know so much more about those characters than the protagonists. Iris is so interesting!
I’ll be honest, probably my biggest complaint is the artwork. I found it a bit creepy And it reminded me of a kid drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch (harsh, I know! But that was what I kept thinking of every time I saw the artwork). I think the story would’ve been better without it because I felt like I was looking at the same picture thirty different times and Nimue looked like a dude.
There is a lot of potential for more stories, or spin-offs to come from this original novel. I can see a lot of readers being interested in our side characters potentially having a larger role in the series. One thing missing for me was the world-building. We see some description of the characters, but I couldn’t clearly picture any of them. I would like to see more description of the dress, landscape, and characters.
Cursed is the story of “coming of age”. It is a story of friendship, survival, deceit, and acceptance. Being as the author is a screenwriter, I can definitely see this becoming a popular show on Netflix and the novel gaining momentum in the months to come.
The expected publication date is October 1, 2019.