Review: Army of the Cursed

  • Title:
    • Army of the Cursed
  • Author:
    • Karim Soliman
  • Release:
    • January 29, 2021
  • Format:
    • eBook, Paperback
  • Series:
    • War of the Last Day #1

Wow, I was not expecting this story to be as good as it was. The story drops names, titles, ranks, etc. left and right. I had to just go with it until I became familiar with them all. The back of the book contains useful maps and glossaries, but they might contain minor spoilers. The biggest failure of the print copy is the lack of a table of contents. While it could contain minor spoilers like the glossaries, it would have been useful. Each chapter (with one exception) changes different character PoV and lists names of whose perspective it is.

It’s a slow burn but well fleshed out. Most of the story is set up and world-building, but once things get going, they get going. This book is not afraid to build up a character, their life, duties, the nation they serve, etc., and then kill them and level the city they were just in. Ho-ley-hell, this is some damn good stuff right here.

Several of the protagonists are teenagers and act like it. They’re all bratty and immature and think they’re older and more mature than they actually are. All of the characters are well done. They’re all fleshed out and well written, they feel like unique human beings and not cardboard cutouts as characters so often do. While on the topic of characters, I cannot stand how they misuse the word “so”. When people say “I’m SO thrilled”, “I’m so happy”, etc. That annoys the hell out of me to no end. Try the word “very” or some other actually descriptive word that tells me something. Those aren’t exact examples, but I got extremely sick of characters misusing it throughout the novel. In general, early on, there were a few times when the character’s manner of speech felt too modern. They used some word or phrase that felt far out of place.

During a jaw-dropping moment, it doesn’t switch PoV which is nice. The details in general were all nicely done. In one instance, one of the Queens is witnessing combat and she has no idea how combat works, so the narration just says “He slew four men.” instead of going into detail about his maneuvers. While minor details like that were added throughout the novel, I found it sloppy that the characters kept referring to “Earth”. I think if you’re going to make a fantasy novel with your own nations, continents, etc., referring to the world as “Earth” is just lazy and distracting.

One final thing I think the story dropped the ball on was catching up with a few characters at the end. We don’t hear from them for several chapters and we can only assume everything they were doing went alright, but we don’t know because that plot thread was left hanging. Minor complaints aside, I’m very happy with this story. I accidentally requested it as a digital review copy. I was so impressed by the writing a few pages in, that I purchased a physical copy and it was very much worth it.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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