The Blood Curse: Jessica A. McMinn *Review*

Cover image of The Blood Curse by Jessica A. McMinn is in the centre of an image of a turquoise abstract. Added text: The world is breaking apart...

Genres: Dark Fantasy, NA Fantasy, Fantasy | Release Date: 30 March 2024 | Series: Gardens of War & Wasteland | Series Book: #2 | Pages: 454 | Indie Author | Review

“Heroes don’t always win.”

Jessica A. McMinn


A massive thank you goes to indie author Jessica A. McMinn for letting me read an ARC of The Blood Curse, book two in her dark fantasy series, Gardens of War & Wasteland! If you haven’t read my review for book one, you can check out my thoughts on The Ruptured Sky here. But for now, let’s give you an overview for this beauty!

The world is breaking apart at the seams, and Amika must race to break the rest of the seals keeping the Goddess in chains. If she doesn’t, the darkness now covering the realm will not be undone. But to do this, she first needs to save her brother, taken aboard a convict ship for trying to overthrow an evil monarch. It won’t be easy, as the demonspawn are gathering in large numbers, and every day the sky is getting ever darker. Can Amika and Rei-Hai get to Kio before the world ends? Will Kriah be able to track the origins of a deadly plague ravaging communities? Can the Chosen Ones break more seals before the enemy unleashes a vast army against all who stand against them?

Cover image of The Blood Curse by Jessica A. McMinn is to the bottom left of an abstract turquoise image. Added text: Can Amika save her brother before it's too late? Will anyone survive what's to come?
The Blood Curse is darker, spicier and even more devastating than The Ruptured Sky.
Of course I love it!

Happiness Boost:

If you were to ask me for a dark fantasy with epic worldbuilding, grim tones and a dash of delicious spice? I can tell you right now that The Blood Curse is *exactly* what you’re looking for! This tale left me reeling and I had to wait until now to write my review, because I actually needed to calm down first… And that took me a while, if I’m honest! Don’t believe me? I’m not ashamed to say I said that exact thing to Jess after finishing my ARC a little over a week ago. It’s taken me *this* long to form a coherent sentence!

Jess gives us a realism which can be rare to find in the fantasy genre, and I’m *so* grateful she does. Particularly with Kio, who has had a tonne of grief in his life and self-medicates with alcohol. He hurts my heart with his choice of coping skills, but I don’t want cookie cutter heroes. I don’t want a rosy tale with everybody handling devastation with ease. Give me this devastated and downtrodden man, who can’t see his way out of the darkness just yet.

Deals are made in this dark NA fantasy, which I just know will come back to haunt our beloved group in the future. This found family is fractured, and the looming threat of Rei-Hai’s surrender to the monstrous darkness in his veins? The world had to wait as I raced through the pages, because The Blood Curse tangles the heart in an ever-tightening web the further we go. Who wouldn’t love that?!


I’m blown away by this book, there’s no downside!

Final Thoughts:

The Blood Curse by indie author Jessica A. McMinn is a beautiful dark fantasy full of devastating powers and a world breaking apart. I cannot overstate how much I’ve loved every single second of reading this sequel to The Ruptured Sky! If you love the dark fantasy genre? Add this to your TBR. Right now. And if you love the sound of this story from my review? Just click on any of the links below to pre-order a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can pre-order The Blood Curse via these links:

Amazon | Blackwell’s | Fishpond

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