A Fun Fantasy Romance about Finding One's Kindred Soul
A Cursed Son Book Cover A Cursed Son
Remnants of the Fallen Kingdom
Day Leitao
Romantic Fantasy
Sparkly Wave
March 6, 2024
Ebook, Paperback, Hardcover

Romantic & sexy dreams link a false princess to a dangerous, disgraced fae prince in this fun, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantasy. In her dreams, he envelops her in love. In real life, he imprisons her in ice. Assassin, liar, impersonator—dreamer. As a royal decoy, trained to replace the Krastel princess even in a political marriage, Astra’s life is not her own. With a duty like that, how can she dream about love? And yet she knows she has a kindred soul. She can feel his presence every night, holding her in his arms, surrounding her with his warmth. But ice-cold reality crashes in when Astra’s carriage is attacked by the Crystal Court’s disgraced prince. Banished for heinous crimes and armed with powerful stolen relics, he’s a wielder of mighty magic and can even infiltrate minds. It turns out that he is the man in her dreams. And this is about to get very, very awkward. A Cursed Son is a fun, sexy, enemies-to-lovers romantic fantasy for fans of fae, elemental magic, arranged marriage, forced proximity, snarky banter, and dream connection.

“Love might be illogical, but it can make people magnificent.”

Photo credit Basil James on Unsplash

A Cursed Son, the first book in Day Leitao’s new Remnants of the Fallen Kingdom series, helped me remember how beautiful, awe-inspiring, and foundation-shaking love can be. The female main character, Astra, is a believer of light and love even though she has been raised to fear, to fight, and to deceive. She is an impersonator of the Princess of Krastel, a human kingdom at the edge of powerful fae courts. The royal impersonators take the place of the prince and princess on dangerous journeys or in the event that a royal suitor needs to be spied upon or assassinated. She is trained to fight, to seduce, to poison, and, above all, to hide who she really is. In a moment of quiet vulnerability, she prays to the Mother of Light for a vision of her kindred soul. Soon, she has joyous, sensuous dreams of a man with a star on his chest. Her true love. She wakes each morning with renewed hope.

“Nothing can shake me when I’m so deeply loved.”

Astra gets a rude awakening, though, when she realizes that she has been dreaming about the cursed prince of the fae Crystal Court, Marlak. As you can imagine in an enemies-to-lovers romance, he’s rude, grumpy, and distant. He wields powerful elemental magic and is accused of murdering his family. What happened to the loving and gentle soul in Astra’s dreams? An arranged marriage between the two brings them into forced proximity and all bets are off for Astra finding “true love.” Or so she thinks.

A Cursed Son is a fantastic romantasy with unique elements that kept me engaged for over 400 pages. Leitao’s writing is smooth and thoughtful with the right amount of humor and heart. One of my favorite parts about this story is the effortless way in which Leitao weaves dreams and visions into the narrative. The story is from Astra’s point of view. When Astra dreams or is connected to Marlak’s mind, sometimes you could tell right away. Other times you can’t. The “is this real or is this a dream?” component to the story kept me on my toes. At other points, it added an ethereal quality that made me pause just to reflect on what I just read.

I found myself sighing “wow” under my breath more than once while reading this book.

Reason one: Astra’s faith. Her power is incredible; although she doesn’t realize it because she’s spent her life hiding who she is. Her faith in the Mother of Light is unwavering, and her humility is genuine. Even through her stubbornness and lying (as befits her role as a royal decoy), I was rooting for Astra in her journey.

Reason two: Marlak’s conviction. He calls himself a monster because of his scars and his past. Yet like many people who don’t feel like they have much else to lose, he seemingly craves transparency, loyalty, and trust. From the very beginning of their relationship, Marlak encourages Astra to stop hiding from herself.

“You’re my wife, and you can be as strong as you want. You don’t need to pretend you’re small anymore. You don’t need to hide.”

This book ends in one serious cliffhanger. I’m so pleased with the choice that Leitao made with the ending of book one. I was invested in the complex relationship development by the end of the book and — for a single, pulse-pounding moment — I thought I’d have to do it all again in book two. And my heart plummeted in my chest. Then I turned to the epilogue and breathed my relief. The next book is going to be great, and I can’t wait for it to release. Day Leitao, you found a new fan in this LitBuzz bee!