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The Cursed

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  281 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
War had killed Gwin's husband, and a plague of star sickness carried off her babies. Desolate, she nursed her stricken neighbors. But the few who would survive the sickness were doomed anyway.
Every survivor would be cursed, and each would become outcast, for the curses were more deadly than the plague itself. Some survivors would gain powers of healing--and equally the po
Mass Market Paperback, 418 pages
Published December 30th 1996 by Del Rey (first published April 18th 1995)
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The world of cursed is a unique one, set in a fallen empire with warring factions inside and deadly invaders outside. The focus is on the cursed - survivors of the star sickness who end up with various psychic gifts.

The powers are mostly two fold - the healer can can easily harm, the telepath can broadcast, the one with out emotion can manipulate them in others, the luck bringer causes occurrences good and bad. Then there are the shapechangers, continually shifting into new bodies without contro
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book has a lot of potential, and lived up to some of it.

Note - this review has some story details that could be construed as spoilerish (but not too many). So read on at your own discretion.

I liked the author's concept for a 'magic system' where the Cursed have double-edged powers. This system was developed and flushed out as the story progressed. I think the first 3/4 of the book was good...

For me, the whole relationship between the main protagonist Gwin and her husband Bulion didn't qu
Many have died from the star sickness; those who survive become Cursed, the holders of mysterious, double-edged powers conferred by the stars, or fates. It is unwise to have contact with the Cursed and illegal to shelter them, yet after the death of her husband and children from the sickness, innkeeper Gwin Nien Solith does just that, taking in a girl cursed with the power to heal or kill. When farmer Bulion Tharn and some of his family come to Gwin's inn, a quest begins which will change the de ...more
Dee W.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it liked it
In this world, a crumbling empire, a mysterious star sickness either kills you or leaves you "cursed" when it strikes. This curse is manifest in powers, that when left uncontrolled leave you insane. Thar are the manifest powers of their gods: shape changing, the reading and broadcasting of thoughts, healing, future telling, the fatalistic changing of events, and the overarching dominance over people. Add to this an invading barbarian hoard, and those that the barbarians had fled from generations ...more
Sean Randall
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
"To credit herself with having God as personal advisor seemed dangerously arrogant."

Duncan's worlds are just amazing, and this book was no exception. Polion's lament was beautiful, Bulion's longing for home was incredible. In short, the whole things just sucks you in and really grips.

It ended rather abruptly, of course; there was a lot of build up to a rather shortened climax. In that regard the scope could've been toned down a little given the overall length of the book, but you can forgive tha
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I've only read the Venice series of books by DD before this (which I really really liked). I didn't think this was as good, but it was reasonably entertaining, some interesting characters, and the way magic was dealt with fairly unique. I guess it was a bit long winded was the main problem. But I'll definitely be reading more DD in the future (but I won't be re-reading this one).
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ohne diese Masse an Rechtschreibefehlen und Wortstellungskatastrophen hätte man auch drei Sterne geben können, aber doppelte Wörter im Satz und Buchstabendreher und das auf jeder zweiten Zeite machen einen beim Lesen echt grantig.
Darum leider nur zwei Sterne, für die deutsche Fassung, vielleicht ist das Original ja besser.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this whole thing.

Seriously, you could die from a tooth back then (I know it's another world but it's still basically the same as back in the 1300's or whatever).

I actually liked the characters more than I expected to when I started.

But to be perfectly honest, this was something that was lying around the house so I read it.
Nov 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Slow to get started, but ultimately engrossing story of a world where those with special powers are dubbed "Cursed." And though they are ostracised, they end up being needed to save the land from war. Duncan again delivers believable, likable characters in a unique world.
Ron Judenberg
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
lesley serrano
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The premise of little empires descending into chaos because a barbarian horde wants to swallow them whole and a Cursed messiah to save them all is just perfection.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Oh how I wish this had been split into two books and the ending expanded greatly, but otherwise, I loved the book!
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Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds are more satisfying than the real one, he has published more than forty-five novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also young adult, science fiction, and historical.

He has at times been Sara
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