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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
In Clouded By Envy: Cruel Curses Book 1, Candace Robinson has created a fantasy story about Brayora and her twin brother, Brenik. The two bats are flying to the Stone of Desire, hoping for safety. Ten years later, Brayora is alone inside a tree, mourning the loss of her human friend, Ruth. Brenik left a crude note and had left their home in the tree. When Brayora notices Ruth’s home has become occupied again, she investigates. To her delight, she finds a new birdbath to play in. She didn’t notice Luca approaching. Having been discovered, Brayora shows she can transform into human form. After an introduction to his brother Wes, Brayora finds she has an actual family again. Meanwhile, Brenik has returned to the stone and has struck a deal so he can be human, but never grow old. Brenik is invited to watch a game at Jeremy’s house. When Brenik leaves, he hopes that nobody will discover what he has done with the young man.
Clouded By Envy is a delightful fantasy with an obvious message regarding morals. Brayora and Brenik are described as bats, but Luca described them as fairies. I found that despite the pair being twins, Brayora seemed to have a clear advantage in life. She could transform into human form, but Brenik had not been given that gift. Before they crossed realms at the stone, he was considered the weakest. I could connect with Brayora’s character as she had a naïve but kind personality. This is an easy-to-read story, and the transitions between the characters are seamless. Candace Robinson created realistic supporting characters that helped the story come alive. The dark suspense she includes in the story unfolds unpredictably. The ending of the story shocked me, as it was a bittersweet moment. This is a standalone book with the potential to start a series. I would recommend it to adult readers who enjoy fantasy with realms crossing.