The Cursed Heart

by Derin_Edala

Kayden was six months old when the doctor found the curse in his heart. From then on, his life was a struggle to keep it locked away and dormant and above all secret, dreading the day that it would finally break free and wreak havoc. Now he’s fourteen, and that day has come.

Things look bad, but there’s hope — the world’s most prestigious magical school is willing to take him in, keep him safe, and pay his legal fees to avoid bankrupting his family. Most importantly, they can teach him to control his curse, to avoid ever hurting anyone else. It sounds far too good to be true, but what other option does he have?

Kayden quickly finds himself embroiled in a large political game he doesn’t understand. But he’d better learn fast. Because the secrets of his new school run deeper than he ever expected, and his actions have far more dangerous consequences than he could ever have known.

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Want to read ahead? Chapters are posted in advance on the Curse Words website.

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Derin_Edala

Derin_Edala

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FantasyBliss30
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great Premise, Relatable Characters, Solid Writing

Reviewed at: Shopping

I think the premise of this story is great. I know it might feel like it has been done before, but since it is so easily relatable, it cannot be overdone. There are so many promising things you can do with Schools of Magic and this one is promising. I love the modern setting. The characters are sweet and easily relatable too. I like the simplicity of them, no unnecessary angst or complexity. Language is direct and lucid, always gets to the point. Vocabulary is consistent. BTW, was it ever explained what happened during the attack. I am curious to know. My only feedback would be to add some look descriptions of the characters when you are introducing them, without making it forced. I loved reading how Mr. Cooper looked. I hope you can do for more of the others too, lol. It is always fun to visualize characters. I also do not see any big bad introduced yet (I apologize if I am missing something). My other feedback would be to sort of tease the big bad earlier in the chapters or the bigger conflict in earlier chapters, so that the readers can have a stronger motivation to root for Kayden, a prologue may be? Thanks! I truly hope more people read this.

AngrySeme
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

You should sell this.

Reviewed at: Registration

Overal Score 5/5

Note: I read up to chapter 4.

I have been on this site for about a month.

This is one out of three stories I have actually slowed down to read.

Most of them I skim through like a textbook until it catches my eye in prose, however for this one it isn't the case. For the first time in a long time I read a story with magic children, that wasn't Harry Potter and the Secret of Neville Long-Bottom's Trouser Zipper.

I suggest this to anyone who wants a good read to unwind with with a nice cup of tea.

Style Score 5/5

Most stories I read I have to go to about maybe the 5th chapter to see a developing style, but from this one it wasn't the case. It hit the ground running and I was able to clearly visualize the setting.

A+ work

Grammar 5/5

Not much to say here, other than relief I don't have to read errors that intterupt the reading expereince.

Story Score 5/5

This story does a good job at exposition without explaining things. Brava. I struggle with this and am quite jealous. By the end of the first chapter I already know the basics of the story. That there's a curse, a boy is being followed by the police, and that someone got hurt. It makes me want to know more, and its a good place to end a chapter to get people to keep reading.

Character Score 5/5

This part has a spoiler, so let me forewarn before you read this section.

I am a transgender man. Before I realized Kayden was transgender, I did not even realize it. It was hinted at in the story. Kayden was treated like the others. It wasn't said obviously. Why should it be? The other characters already know! 

The registration chapter is great exposition, and shows the small and big parts of the hard parts of a transgender person's life.

It is also a great literary vehicle. Kayden can truly be Kayden in this new school. Good Job.

Please read this story. You won't regret it :) 

Jacob A Zucker
Overall

Comfort food of stories

Reviewed at: Cursed Magic

This story is excellent. The writing is very clean and perfectly fitting for a Young Adult book (I figure this is YA or middle age? That's what it seems like so far). The prose never overextends itself. It just does what it's meant to do.

While the magical school promise is rife with tropes, I feel like this is a sufficiently fresh iteration. It's definitely not a cheap Harry Potter knock-off. There are enough differences that it's compelling and I want to learn more about the world of the novel.

So far, the only thing I can say I would have liked more of from the book is some higher stakes. I don't feel as though I'm super invested in the story yet. I feel like there's a stark absence of conflict this far. Again, this isn't an objectively bad thing. Reading this story is like putting on a weighted blanket. It's comforting. Kayden as a protagonist is surprisingly rational, making decisions and saying things that I, as a reader, am thinking (I love the section where he calls the teacher out on his BS). Maybe it stems from the fact that there's no real antagonist yet (except for an inanimate curse)? Not sure. Maybe I just have to keep reading.

Overall, the story is great. I'll echo what another reviewer said, but you should consider seeking publication. It can be a painful, gruelling process, but there's a huge market for LGBTQ, YA fantasy—especially with an exceptionally written trans protagonist.