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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Skin Curse is book two of The Gate Cycle series by Kristin Jacques, an easy-to-read, gripping fantasy with memorable characters and an exceptional plot. Azzy Brimvine is facing the biggest challenge of her life. After all she has been through, from surviving the snatcher’s caravan and the hungry-eyed monsters, she has to find her brother in the city of Avergard, a city that is treacherous. The voices that have guided her for so long have departed. In the House of Seven Smiles, it is hard to trust anyone, even the mysterious Lord Wallach and the servants. Powerful forces scheme to bring the city to the ground, and in a place where no one can be trusted, she must find her brother and do so fast to save her family before the Gate destroys everything.
The story is set in a world that is filled with mystery and it features a protagonist with a unique mission. Saving her brother and family is Azzy’s primary concern. It sounds so easy, but then the author creates twists in the plot that make the task almost impossible. One of the things I love in a good story is how well the author handles conflict and Kristin Jacques rises to the task, never for a moment disappointing. The protagonist is a female character that is sophisticated, and while she enjoys extraordinary skills, she is blinded by her loyalty and suffers because of people that cannot bet rusted. Skin Curse is fast-paced and written in prose that is beautiful, highly descriptive, and characterized by strong imagery. The depiction of the dark world of Avergard will have fans of fantasy intoxicated. I loved this book!