A troubled prince.
A deadly curse.
A mysterious cup.
And the power to save or doom the kingdom.
Of course things didn’t go as planned at the Royal Games. When do things go as planned?
Now Zora is on the run, and has to join a disgraced prince in order to retrieve a powerful magical artifact that might undo her valley’s curse. For the first time in her life, she has real hope for her people.
Problem is, for the second time in her life, she’s falling for someone she shouldn’t. Finding a hidden object is hard enough on its own, she could do without the heart palpitations and lack of air. And she could certainly focus better without the constant memory of his lips on hers, his arms around her… Gaah! See? How can she avoid pursuers and decipher enigmatic writings when her brain has been turned to mush? Painful, hopeless mush.
But the real trouble is that there’s more than one curse in the kingdom. And not enough objects or time to get rid of them all.
Together, hope and fury were more than a flame in her heart; they formed a scorching blaze that would burn down this Kingdom of Shadows with everything in it.
In the Cup and the Prince, Zora and Griffin escape the palace after Kieran tried to assassinate his brother for being with his fiancée, Allegra. Since Zora killed the lion, she technically won the games and should be able to find the famous cup. But first they must go to the Dark Valley, so that her parents heal her wounds. On the way, Griffin realizes that there will be a new moon and, therefore, he will transform into the famous monster that makes him his curse.
Both manage to overcome the night and reach the Valley, however, they must resume the journey so as not to be captured by the palace guards and because, now more than ever they must find the cup, the only way to cure Griffin’s curse and perhaps even the Valley’s, and only Zora can do it, but unfortunately she has no idea even where to start.
Perhaps it was still guilt. Perhaps it was something else, one of those unidentifiable feeling from a strange, hard-to-reach place that she couldn’t really translate into words. Or maybe it was just a normal urge to help someone in need. An urge to smile and give him hope. Make him believe that everything would be fine, that everything was possible. Even if it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, Larzen finds out about everything that has happened and that Kieran wants to murder his brother and begins to extort Allegra to fix things. Allegra’s initial plan was to get the three brothers to murder each other, even knowing there was a mathematical impossibility ?, but when she saw Zora desperately trying to save Griffin, she couldn’t avoid helping them escape and completely ruin her own plan. Now she just wants to leave the palace and return to her brother, but neither Kieran nor Larzen will allow it.
Larzen decides to go behind Griffin to convince him leaving the kingdom, and takes Allegra with him. They may not trust each other, but both want to save their brothers.
Zora is sure that Griffin has no real interest in her other than getting the cup and maybe having fun along the way, besides her relationship with Seth left her unwilling to get close to someone else, but she is unable to deny her attraction to Griffin, less when he seems equally interested… and when they just have one hammock (I love this twist on the cliché of the only bed ?).
But there was so much they had to do, so much to figure out, she’d better not get even more distracted than she already was. And by the Light, Griffin was distracting.
I honestly believe that Day Leitao has a kind of super power to make others happy, as well as transporting you to the world that she is presenting.
Anyway, in this book I felt at one point that I was in a cloud of ultimate happiness… only to immediately suffer a looooong fall. Day gave me the world in a crystal ball only to smash it on the ground as I watched. But at least she left me with hope.
Another thing that I have loved about these books is that I feel like everything is explained. Like their way of life in the valley. In this case, for example, Griffin mentions more than once that Zora had lighter hair ends, and I was quite struck by it, but she explains it in a moment and it blew me away not to think about it.
“You lighten the tips?”
“Lots of people do in the valley.” She chuckled. “After all, we fight the dark.”
I was so shocked with Allegra’s character. I hated her, and even though she helped them once, I thought she was nothing but a selfish woman that suddenly got a little of conscience. Yet, she is way more than that.
“Fine, fine. Don’t forget it. Just… listen to me as if I weren’t the most evil creature you’ve ever met, as if I were capable of good intentions sometimes. As if I were a normal human being, someone who makes mistakes sometimes, gets taken by anger, jealously, hatred, but who can also love and have compassion. I’m not a bad person, Larzen.”
Her life has been extremely hard, and she had to learn to live one day at a time, and doing what was necessary for surviving. My favorite quotes from this book are from her, I mean, I still don’t love her, but now I can understand.
“I live one day at a time. And today, you know what we have to do, right? Get up this mountain, so let’s keep going. Tomorrow’s problems are tomorrow’s problems.”
Now, and just to be critical, I must say that there are moments that bothered me in the writing, especially repetitive phrases like when Zora remembered that he was a prince in love with Allegra. Anyway it doesn’t change my opinion, I’m loving this series.
Damn, I just realized that there are still many questions to answer… At least I know that we will have an answer for all of them in the next one, because they are things that have been continually mentioned ?♀️.
I hope everyone would read this book, I think is exactly what we need in a moment like this, where everything seems to be wrong in the world, but we can still keep our hope.
Happiness was never perfect… Happiness was in the small moments, in freedom. Everyone would leave this world one day, so every single life ended in death. And it didn’t mean it wasn’t happy. Perhaps she didn’t have much longer to live, but that was what she was going to chase: happiness.
Bye bye ?