HER RADIANT CURSE (Legends of Lor’yan), by Elizabeth Lim, Knopf Books for Young Readers, Aug. 29, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (young adult)
A betrothal contest.
A monster in disguise.
Her Radiant Curse, by Elizabeth Lim, explores familial bonds and the dark side of beauty.
One sister must fall for the other to rise.
Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna — the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts.
Now 17, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath — launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point. —Synopsis provided by Knopf Books for Young Readers
I’m a fan of Elizabeth Lim (Spin the Dawn, Six Crimson Cranes) so I was excited to get my hands on Her Radiant Curse. I was not disappointed.
One of the best things about Lim’s writing is her ability to drop you into an unknown world and make you feel at ease. Her world-building is on point and works seamlessly with her characters. And Her Radiant Curse is very much a character-driven fantasy.
The story unfolds from Channi’s point of view. Channi has a single-minded purpose — kill the witch and save her sister. Channi is cunning and bold. She’s imperfect and a bit dark, and you want things to work out for her.
As with Lim’s other work, Her Radiant Curse is an immersive read. It’s pacing is spot-on, and you won’t want to put it down.
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