Shannon Mayer, for those not familiar, is a prolific best selling author who currently has 152 titles available on Amazon in different formats, and counting. To say she is a powerhouse in the world of fantasy, fantasy romance, and paranormal paramours is putting it lightly.
The Desert Cursed Series is set in one of her universes in which those with supernatural abilities such as shifters, witches, wizards, vampires, Jinns and dragons, have been separated from normal humans via a nigh indestructible magic wall right down the middle of Europe, dividing east from west. The “supes” are expected to remain behind the wall and live out their lives while regular people carry on in the rest of the world, undisturbed by the paranormal.
It is also hoped that the supes will kill one another. There is considerable animosity and competition amongst the players on the eastern side of the wall.
Into this milieu we are introduced to the main character, a cursed princess of the reigning lion shifters pride in the southern desert. She cannot shift into a form appropriate for a lion, though, and her luck has been star-crossed in a double curse by the Jinn. Different groups control different sections of the wall, and she is tasked with stealing the jewels held by those groups in an overarching quest to bring down the wall. This makes for an excellent series of adventures.
Mayer is a superb writer, and she holds the reader’s attention with a fast-paced plot. She does not spend a lot of time describing scenery, or drudgery. So, the characters set out on a quest and by the next paragraph or so they are usually engaged in the action, having travelled hundreds of miles in the intervening sentences.
On a profanity scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most cursing an author could possibly inject into a book, I rate these an 8. Hardly a page goes by without the colorful use of the F-word or some other obscenity combination. If that bothers you, prepare yourself to skip over multiple instances of cursing.
This is also a paranormal romance series first, and fantasy second. That means the main character is focused on herself and her emotions to the exclusion of almost all else. Readers ride along with her through every up and down she has, experiencing all her many insecurities and emotional turmoil, especially of the “He loves me, he loves me not” kind.
It is an extremely popular series, as is most of what Shannon Mayer writes. Originally, she had in mind to make the Desert Cursed story line a simple trilogy, but her fans insisted on more. So the series is quite long, with nine books now. But, you can grab the original three in a boxset for a reasonable price if you want to dip your toe into this phenomenal world. It is quite enjoyable.
Categories: Urban Fantasy / PNR
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