The Compulsive Reader: Sisters at Odds: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotwood

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sisters at Odds: Star Cursed by Jessica Spotwood

Star Cursed is the sequel to Born Wicked, which I reviewed here. More witches, magic, and kick-ass females!

This book skips ahead ever so slightly from where Born Wicked ended, but only by a couple of weeks. Cate is living with the consequences of her actions from the previous book, and that means joining the Sisterhood, who, SURPRISE, aren't actually a religious order but a group of secret witches! You'd think that this development would be a happy one, but Cate is miserable. She's lied to Finn, left her sisters, and is now living in bustling New London where the Brotherhood is making life miserable for women. She's also being pulled in two very different directions by the secret witches--one side wants to declare war on the Brotherhood and use mind magic to gain power, the other side is up for taking a more diplomatic approach. Oh, and Maura still hates Cate's guts. Sisters.

When new laws put her sisters in danger and bring them into the Sisterhood, Cate is forced to make some tough decisions. She's still against the use of mind magic to gain control of government, but she can't stand by when innocent women are being imprisoned in madhouses and abused. But knowing who to trust, and trying to protect her sisters turns out to be far more complicated than she expected, and now her actions might have even more devastating consequences to her heart and her family.

Jessica Spotswood has a special talent for ratcheting up tension and stakes. In Star Cursed, we meet a whole new set of characters to fall in love with and root for, but that also means heightened danger. Now, it's not simply enough for Cate to protect herself and her sisters, but she is spurred into action and must work to free incarcerated girls--not to further a cause, but because it's the right thing to do. Morality certainly plays a large role in this installment, and the question of motivation, fighting for equal rights, and revenge plague Cate, Maura, Tess, and the Sisterhood.

Star Cursed isn't without its swoony scenes, even though Cate was forced to give up her opportunity to marry Finn. The two have some serious issues to work out, and their relationship is made even more dangerous now that the truth is out but they've each joined their respective orders. As their relationship heats up, so does the danger.

This book also sees characters changing in unexpected ways. Some changes will be delightful, and others not so much. True colors are shown, friends turn into enemies, enemies turn into allies, and Cate must confront the fact that her past actions, while well-intended, perhaps were not always right. This character growth is extremely gratifying, if not painful to watch. Cate can't undo the past, and she's helpless to stop the consequences.

If you thought the ending of Born Wicked was cruel, then the ending to this book is downright sadistic. Spotswood doesn't spare her characters, every victory comes with a price, and you will need to have book three on hand right away!

Book purchased at my indie.

1 comment:

LinWash said...

Wow! Good for her. Putting your characters through the wringer takes guts!