• Curse of Shadows and Thorns

  • The Broken Kingdoms, Book 1
  • By: LJ Andrews
  • Narrated by: Stina Nielsen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (299 ratings)

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Curse of Shadows and Thorns

By: LJ Andrews
Narrated by: Stina Nielsen
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Publisher's Summary

A rebellious princess. A cursed rogue. A forbidden love that will bring a kingdom to its knees.

As niece of the king, Elise Lysander cares about two things: sneaking into gambling dens, and avoiding an advantageous marriage at all costs.

When her uncle holds the life of her deathly ill father over her head, reluctantly, Elise puts her fate into the hands of Legion Grey, the handsome and mysterious dowry negotiator. He may be arrogant and infuriating, but soon Legion incites a blistering, forbidden passion she can’t ignore.

As their attraction grows, so do the dangers: attacks from black-eyed people, a cursed enemy who is more beast than man, and rumors of fae returning for the crown they believe was stolen from them long ago.

After a bloody coup upends the kingdom, Elise flees with Legion, but nothing is as it seems. The man she allowed into her heart reveals his own secret plans with the return of magic—and he has every intention of using Elise to see them through.

With war between magic and mortal on the horizon, Elise must pick a side to protect her kingdom. Does she stand with her people who stole the throne? Or with a man who lied his way into her heart and whose secret past could bring her destruction?

Filled with luscious world building, banter-filled romance, and epic battles, Curse of Shadows and Thorns is the first book in The Broken Kingdoms series.

©2022 LJ Andrews (P)2022 Podium Audio

What listeners say about Curse of Shadows and Thorns

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring and Uneven

I couldn't finish it. The repetitive angst, the lack of character growth and the superficial story line could not hold my attention. There were moments of interest but the "poor me, no one treats me as a real person" whining by Elise got old. if you like a good Beauty and the Beast story, read Radiance by Grace Draven.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ugh!

SO GOOD!!! I discovered this on TikTok and I can’t believe only the first book is on here. I neeeeeed to know what happens next!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved this…with mixed feelings

First, let me say that I loved this book. The reason for that may be heavily influenced by two things: (1) it was narrated by Stina Nielsen, who I love, and (2) its plot and characters are VERY similar to the From Blood and Ashes series by Jennifer Armentrout…which was also narrated by Stina Nielsen. You have to wonder at the coincidence. Not to say that the book doesn’t have its own merit…it’s definitely shaping up to be an outstanding series. It’s just that I wonder how much of my feelings about it are influenced by its similarity to a series I’m crazy about. I am glad that she decided not to voice Legion and Casteel similarly to keep some kind of separation. As much as I love Stina, I may not be able to wait for the next audiobooks since the ebooks are ready and waiting :)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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fun read

I really enjoyed this the characters really build and although it's not shocking in it's originality it's still well done. I enjoyed it so much I'm starting the 2nd book immediately which I haven't done with any series in a while.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great concept, poor execution on the writing side

Ok so I have thoughts.

First things first... This is a beauty and the beast retelling and NO one mentions it. There's a bit of insta-love/lust and court intrigue.

My biggest issues are as follows...

⚪ The world building is a bit chaotic. There's a ton of information thrown at the reader and lots of things renamed to be more "fantasy." But readers need a frame of reference and renaming common terms only confuses us more.

⚪ The romance was weird. The FMC finds this guy hot. And apparently sneaks out to gaming halls to stalk him, but she's never talked to him. And suddenly he's in charge of her marriage hunt? And he's just instantly drawn to her? It didn't feel believable. And the whole ending was so bizarre. They seemed like they went from "Ok, we can be friends after I felt betrayed by you" to " I love you, never leave me and I'll die for you!!!" It just threw me... I'm still invested but sceptical.

⚪ The plot was all over the place. I feel like the core story is really good, but there was so much extra fluff and alternative stuff going on that it detached from the main plot. And when the betrayals and court politics begin to unravel a lot of it seemed random and opportunistic for the author rather than well thought out.

This book felt like it was trying to incorporate too much. It has the vibes of being like A Song of the Marked by SM Gaither but didn't execute it well. Like, the author wanted a core group of friends to get that found family vibe but it didn't work at all. The banter fell flat and the characters just didn't seem well thought out. And when someone important dies they do so almost immediately after saying something poignant to the MC. Literally, like 5 seconds after. It was so random. I guess as the reader I was supposed to be upset but because the heartwarming moment barely had time to solidify it just didn't do much for me. I was all, "oh and now they're dead, huh. " Not exactly the reaction I think the author was going for.

Overall
Story ⭐⭐
Spice 🚫
Audio 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 (Stina Nelson is always fantastic)

I know this review was negative but I'm hoping the next book fixes a lot of these issues and it's just an issue of the first book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s giving From blood and ash without the “eeeether”

I really enjoyed this story in the end, it hooked me enough to probably pick up the next book. It started off very slow, but the two main characters are what kept me going. It resembles From blood and ash by Jennifer L Armenstrout so if you enjoyed that series I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Legion has book boyfriend potential if he can pull his head out of is YOU KNOW WHAT!

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Enjoyed it!

Really enjoyed thus story, but being scandinavian, I cringed every time the wonderful Stina Nielsen unfortunately butchered the nordic names/words - not that I hold it against her, not her fault. And it seemed Andrews may have googled some nordic words and haven't really understood them, like "Kvinna". I guess she have searched "Lady", and gotten this word, but in our tongue it is just a word for a woman, not a pretty title. So listening to the audio, it both seems like the author don't know the proper meaning of the word(this happens both in this and other books, with this and other nordic words), and kind of an insult thrown at all people being called this in the book. Like "Woman Elise". Would recommend the author should have consulted a Scandinavian before using the nordic words, but also, only a native speaker would pick up on it. All in all, a fun read!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Drags, boring, plot forced, FMC TSTL

Info dump at the beginning made the whole book harder to follow, and less interesting.
FMC makes so many irrational and stupid decisions she should’ve died several times.
I haven’t even finished the book, I’m still listening and groaning “omfg” at the “climax” scene where they’re literally being pursued by deadly forces, stop to talk, then when it comes to a topic that the MC wants to know, and I do too, the other characters say “there’s no time to explain” and then they go on talking about something else for minutes, and then the FMC screams in anger while they’re trying to be quiet and hide.
The author has good prose, and the idea is good/fun, but the execution is bad. The plot meanders, the pacing is all over the place, the FMC makes so many bad/stupid decisions. I’m literally only holding out for the sex scene that hasn’t come yet… I will not be reading the next one.
The narrator did okay. She misused voices several times, like she didn’t know who was supposed to be speaking. She didn’t do a great job of identifying what was narration and what was dialogue for the FMC.
Do not recommend. There’s so many better books out there.

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5 stars

Couldn’t put it down!! Can see it’s going to be a great series!! So excited to get the next book

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    3 out of 5 stars

A little predictable

Overall a pretty good story. You could guess where the story was going but it was written well. I love the narrator. It reminded me of the From Blood and Ash Series.

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  • Adriana
  • 10-13-22

Enjoyed it a lot

Stunning performance by Stina Nielsen, as always. Everything she reads is superb. The story is good too, on the same shelf as FBAA, ASITE, and ACOTAR. Perfect if you have a book hangover from the other series. Well developed plot, interesting characters and believable romance. This is quite a slow burn but I enjoyed it and I can’t wait to listen to the rest.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-30-22

I'm a little conflicted

In the beginning I thought this was going to be a nordic inspired copy of Jennifer armentrouts "From blood and Ash"
Though the story have points that are really similar I like the differences.

The nordic feel was interesting but I'm not sure if I liked it or not. 🤔

And then I feel like there were parts that I felt dragged along and other parts that I feel like needed more.

The last thing I'd like to comment is the characters. Compared to many other books like it I've read I didn't feel as involved in the characters as I've done other times.
There are parts I feel like a try to get the reader to be emotionally involved with the character but it just doesn't work for me. Why.. I honestly cannot say.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Selene
  • 11-29-22

It was ok

The storyline was decent, enough so that I bought the second in hopes that the few issues I did find are ironed out. The story flowed strangely though, there were a few times I got lost and didn't realise the paragraph had ended as suddenly we were in a different place with different people. Made listening difficult.
I also found the relationship between the two main characters somewhat difficult to believe. They barely know each other, there's no reason the female character should trust this total stranger the way she does. I feel it could have built up more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-27-22

really good for a binge read

love this narrator and the book too, can listen to her all day and night ;)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-22

I love this book I need the next one

I set a rule with this book that I would only listen to it when exercising and this has caused me to do 2 workouts a day for the last week and a bit because I couldn't get enough of it. read this book and please get the next audio book out as soon as you can !!!