Cursebreakers | Critical Book Review

Cursebreakers by Madeleine Nakamura is a dazzling journey through a world ablaze with magic, curses, and raw emotions. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster of violence and sweetness as the narrative unfolds.


Unveiling the Magical Symphony

Cursebreakers delves into the life of Professor Adrien Desfourneaux, a man grappling with both the impending threat of a magical coup and the tumultuous waves of his own bipolar disorder. Nakamura weaves intricate magic systems with beauty, meaning, and political truths, creating a narrative that pulsates with authenticity.


A Razor-Sharp Portrait of Addiction and Mental Illness

Nakamura’s depiction of Adrien’s battle with addiction and mental illness is both poignant and unflinchingly real. The novel introduces the concept of a “keeper” in the form of Casmir, offering practical support akin to a sponsor for a recovering addict. The exploration of Adrien’s unrequited love for Casmir adds a layer of heartbreaking romance that resonates throughout the story.


Illuminating the Shadows of Child Soldiers

The portrayal of Gennady, a character raised as a soldier without emotional support, showcases Nakamura’s generosity in character development. The narrative sheds light on the damaging effects of a military upbringing, emphasizing the redeemable nature of individuals caught in such circumstances.


Navigating the Labyrinth of Bipolar Disorder

Adrien’s perspective offers a compelling exploration of living with bipolar disorder, from the disorienting effects of mania to the struggle for trust in the eyes of loved ones. Nakamura skillfully navigates the nuances of mental health, presenting a reflective and poetic portrayal that resonates with authenticity.


Bonds, Betrayals, and Battles

The story’s focus on Adrien’s perspective allows for a deep dive into his internal struggles, from phases of doubt to moments of triumphant belief from his found family. The evolving relationships and loyalty among the characters contribute to the novel’s rare and precious authenticity, igniting the potential for a fervent fandom.


Content Warnings and Empathetic Storytelling

Cursebreakers carries content warnings for sensitive topics like self-harm, addiction, and opioids. However, the narrative consistently treats Adrien with respect and honor, providing a portrayal that feels genuine and supportive. Nakamura’s empathetic writing extends to diverse experiences, fostering connection on a sincere level.


Unforgettable Characters and Enduring Friendships

The bond between Gennady and Adrien emerges as the heart of the narrative, capturing readers with its depth and authenticity. The novel’s impact is further heightened by multifaceted characters and vibrant storytelling, positioning it as an immediate addition to the list of all-time favorites.


A Phenomenal Odyssey

Cursebreakers stands out as an electrifying tale, brimming with curses, destruction, and heartache. Nakamura’s exceptional storytelling, reminiscent of beloved series like The Tarot Sequence and Six of Crows, promises a thrilling adventure. The desire for prequels or sequels and spinoffs only amplifies the anticipation for what this world has yet to offer.


A Symphony of Empathy and Compassion

In the realm of fiction, Cursebreakers shines as a beacon of empathetic and compassionate writing. Nakamura’s exploration of child soldiers, enduring friendships, mental health care, and moral quandaries faced by mentors is nothing short of inspiring on a profoundly human level. This novel is more than outrageously good; it’s phenomenal. A testament to the enduring power of friendship and the belief in humanity’s capacity for good.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Canis Major BooksFantasy / Wizards & Witches284 pages9781939096128

Cursebreakers by Madeleine Nakamura is a dazzling journey through a world ablaze with magic, curses, and raw emotions. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster of violence and sweetness as the narrative unfolds. Unveiling the Magical Symphony Cursebreakers delves into the life of Professor Adrien Desfourneaux, a man grappling with both the impending threat of a magical…