Book Review: A Cursed Reign by Nissa Leder

A Cursed Reign by Nissa Leder is the fifth installment in the Whims of Fae series and is the first book ticked off my July to be read. I actually started this book near the end of June and finished it on the 30th of June, so I’m not entirely sure it counts however I was not reading anything else at this point and wanted to make a good start for the month. 

As this is the fifth book in the series it means there will be slight spoilers for anyone who has not read any of the Whims of Fae books. 


For those of you who have not heard of this series, it is about the fae – which is obvious from the series name, and focuses on once human and now Fae queen Scarlett. Like most fae stories the world is built of seasonal courts alongside the Seelie and Unseelie courts. Those in the seasonal courts do not have access to their full powers due to a spell cast by the Seelie Queen and Unseelie King. This is something that becomes an important plotline later on and causes a lot of tension between all courts. The fae fuel their powers by feeding on emotion, with human emotion being the most potent. 

After the traumatic death of her mother Scarlett, who is currently human, is left feeling devastated. This is something that Summer prince Cade uses to his advantage when luring Scarlett into the fae world so he can gain power from taking away her sadness. However, this is all from the first book and this review is about the fifth book. So long story short, Scarlett discovers she is not only fae but the heir to a completely different realm – the Sidhe realm in the Otherworld. As the ruler of the Sidhe, Scarlett is the Queen of light who must fight against the King of Darkness. I will not say any more than that as I want to make sure I am not giving too much away to someone who may want to read the series. Instead, I will use the Goodreads synopsis

“The fate of the Otherworld is in her hands.

After rescuing Raith from the Darkland, Scarlett must deal with the aftermath of the ritual Ankou performed. Visions plague her as the darkness inside her grows. When Kaelem learns of a weapon that can kill Ankou, he and Scarlett must go on a quest to the mortal realm to find the man with the answers they seek.

With Ankou free to leave the Darkland, time isn’t on Scarlett’s side. Because the weapon she searches for can not only kill him, but can kill her as well.”

Whims of Fae is an enjoyable series that I have been reading over the course of around eight months. This being so long because I do not always have kindle unlimited. Each book has been a quick read for me and even has some interesting plot points. 

The biggest issue for me with this series is the lack of depth in each book. I genuinely think you could combine every two books of this series together to create more in-depth instalments. For me, it seems that not a lot happens in each book however it does all tie together well to create an interesting overall plotline. This is especially true for book five which I will go into more later in this review. However, this could be seen as a positive by anyone who is looking for a quick series to read. Each book is on average 250 kindle pages long, with A Cursed Reign only having 202, so you can imagine that a physical version of these books would not be very big. I am yet to read the last book in the series, Queen of Dark and Light, and honestly, I’m very disappointed that it will be the shortest book in the entire series at just 198 pages. There still seems like a lot of plot points that need resolving and I’m unsure how it will be done in such a short book. 

I was so excited when I realised that mermaids were a part of this series, however, that excitement was very short-lived. Just like the time spent with the mermaids. Scarlett meets one mermaid who takes her to an underwater city where everyone has legs. Although she spends a considerable amount of time in this city, you literally only meet that one mermaid and that’s it. Nissa Leder has done a sequel series to Whims of Fae called Whims of Witches, so I’m really hoping she will do another on the mermaids of the underwater city. 

Overall this book was ok, I honestly cannot think of any other word to use than ok. It definitely had some great moments; a fight in a New York club, the discovery of the underwater city and even some good twists that will be interesting to see play out in the next book. However, this is probably my least favourite read of the year so far. I am seriously hoping that the final book will be action-packed from start to finish and will bring everything to a satisfying conclusion despite its short length.

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