The Beautiful and the Cursed

( 10 )


Beautiful sisters, impossible romance, dark intrigue, and paranormal mystery will draw readers into this compelling world—Grotesque is the first book in the City of Light trilogy, welcoming Page Morgan, an exciting new YA talent to the field. Fans of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy will devour Grotesque, a wholly original interpretation of the gargoyle lore. 

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The Beautiful and the Cursed

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Beautiful sisters, impossible romance, dark intrigue, and paranormal mystery will draw readers into this compelling world—Grotesque is the first book in the City of Light trilogy, welcoming Page Morgan, an exciting new YA talent to the field. Fans of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy will devour Grotesque, a wholly original interpretation of the gargoyle lore. 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Page Morgan's The City of Light trilogy opens with a dark web of romantic yearnings, paranormal threats, secrets, and suspense. With its plot about a Parisian murder and a missing twin, this debut novel has the magnetic attributes necessary to fuel a successful series. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
Debut author Morgan launches the Dispossessed series with a well-crafted gothic fantasy told through alternating perspectives. In 1899, after suffering a crushing heartbreak and blamed for an ensuing fire, 17-year-old Lady Ingrid Waverly moves with her mother and sister to Paris. Her rakish twin brother, Grayson, is already there, having purchased an abandoned, gargoyle-adorned abbey, which their mother intends to transform into an art gallery. But upon arrival, Ingrid learns that Grayson has been absent for several days, and that a string of disappearances have been plaguing Paris. Ingrid is sure that something is wrong with Grayson, though only Luc, a servant in the abbey, appears sympathetic. As the narrative shifts between Ingrid, Grayson, and Luc's points of view, Morgan relies on familiar paranormal romance elements. The labyrinthine and dilapidated Parisian setting, filled with sinister figures of both human and demonic varieties, should hook readers, and Morgan's fluid descriptions, inventive otherworldly elements, and characters with convincing motivations result in an immersive first installment. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ted Malawer, Upstart Crow Literary. (May)
VOYA - Anjeanette Alexander-Smith
Most jilted girls cry to their friends. Ingrid Waverly deals with heartbreak differently in 1899 London: she sets the other girl's house on fire. Ingrid's mother moves the family to Paris. They discover that Ingrid's twin brother, Grayson, has been missing for four days. Ingrid's mother sent him to Paris to scout the area for a suitable place. Ingrid's intuition warns her that Grayson is in trouble. She and her sister, Gabriella, enlist the help of mysterious characters to find her brother. They delve deeper into the paranormal world of Paris and find out about their intricate connection to the battle involving the Dispossessed, the Angelic Order, the Alliance, and the Underneath demons. Ingrid realizes that she is not a girl of disgrace, but a woman who possesses a unique gift. Will she be able to develop it and save her brother's life? An unexpected enemy may have something to say about that. Morgan's writing style skillfully weaves suspense to hook the adolescent reader into the storyline. The reader shares Ingrid's surprise as she learns more about herself and realizes she is worthy of love by unlikely men. Morgan expands the paranormal genre with her creative twists on the fine line separating the supernatural from the human. Adolescents will forget that the writer has drawn them into a historical setting as the characters become real in their imaginations. They will wonder if the paranormal really does exist. Librarians can pair this book with other young adult paranormal novels prevalent on their shelves. Teachers can pair it with classic novels that blend in the gothic and grotesque, such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Reviewer: Anjeanette Alexander-Smith
Kirkus Reviews
A newish supernatural being arrives in this straight-out gothic saga. Gargoyles, forced to protect humans from demons, lurk overhead on the old Gothic church in Paris bought by a titled English family in 1899. Gargoyle Luc tries to protect the family's two daughters as they roam Paris looking for their missing brother, Grayson. Proper in name only, Ingrid, 17 and the story's main heroine, doesn't bother with chaperones, while Gabby, at 15, dresses in a sexy red dress and goes out to visit men alone. Meanwhile, hellhounds are slaughtering Paris' population of young ladies. Readers learn early that Grayson is a prisoner in the Underneath, where gargoyles and humans cannot go. Luc can't seem to do his protecting job properly even with the help of the Alliance, a group of humans who also fight demons. Forbidden romance and hot kissing scenes abound. Gargoyles are not yet overexposed in books for teens, and Morgan's description of the Underneath also stands out as inventive. However, the gothic genre leads her into the usual conventions of sentence fragments and hyperbole ("Hesitation meant death"). Her execution of the story comes across as awkward and inexpert, with much repetition. The concept may be somewhat new, but the plotline could have been lifted from any 1930s monster movie, including the villain who obligingly explains all before attacking. A nifty idea clumsily executed. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Dispossessed Trilogy:

“A deliciously satisfying mix of historical fiction, mystery, and supernatural romance.”—The Bulletin

“Morgan combines fantasy with gothic romance in this well-crafted standout.”—Booklist

“Forbidden romance and hot kissing abound.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Morgan keeps the plot moving with constant action…dark adventure and romance.”—School Library Journal

“Morgan's fluid descriptions, inventive otherworldly elements, and characters with convincing motivations result in an immersive first installment.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
It is the late 19th century in France when Ingrid, her sister Gabby, and their mom arrive at the abandoned abbey that they plan to turn into an art gallery. Grayson, Ingrid's twin brother, had procured the place and was supposed to meet them there. Grayson, however, does not show up and the girls are surprised to learn that he has actually been missing for several days. Given Grayson's wild reputation, most people are not too concerned about his disappearance. Ingrid, however, believes that her twin is in danger, so she and Gabby begin their own investigation. Together, they discover a world of living gargoyles that can transform into humans. The gargoyles are charged with protecting the people who reside in their territories from the murderous hellhounds that have been rising from the Underneath. Ingrid learns that the attractive and desirable servant, Luc, is actually a gargoyle who has failed in protecting Grayson from hellhounds that have taken him to the Underneath. Why have the hellhounds taken Grayson but kept him alive? Ingrid and Gabby are determined to rescue him from the Underneath. But the plot thickens when powerful lightening begins emerging from Ingrid's hands whenever she is angry. This exciting and enticing page-turner will keep readers on the edge of their seats, all the way to the last page! Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This paranormal romance set in Paris introduces readers to Ingrid Waverly, an earl's daughter who has left London where she was recently the wrong side of a love triangle and an accidental arsonist. What Ingrid lacks in social graces she makes up for in wit and beauty. Her younger sister, Gabriella, is dark while she is fair, but just as headstrong and a dash more daring. These young women are the heart of the novel, in which world-building and romance are developed with equal attention. Although the story heavily relies on information-dumping about gargoyles-creatures that also take human form, known as the Dispossessed-angels and demons, Morgan keeps the plot moving with constant action and third-person limited narration from four main characters. The driving mystery is the disappearance of Ingrid's twin brother. In their search for Grayson, who vanished four days before their arrival in Paris, the sisters meet a handsome bookseller and a charming Scot who happen to be members of the Alliance, a secret organization that supports the Dispossessed in their fight against demons. With the help of the Alliance, Ingrid and Gabriella are determined to save their brother. But their persistence puts them in danger, which is frustrating for Luc, the gargoyle who guards all the inhabitants of the Waverly home, especially because of the growing sensual attraction between him and Ingrid. Although a sequel is forthcoming, Morgan skillfully allows this book to stand on its own. Teens may not be surprised by it, but will nonetheless enjoy the dark adventure and romance.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385743112
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Series: Dispossessed Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 467,084
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

PAGE MORGAN has been fascinated with les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these remarkably complex stone figures. Page lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three children. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars 'The Beautiful and The Cursed' is the first book in a

    4.5 Stars

    'The Beautiful and The Cursed' is the first book in a new young adult series that follows the Waverly sisters as they move to Paris with their mother after a disastrous event in London. Ingrid is eager to find her twin brother, Grayson, since she hasn't seen him in months. Gabby, the youngest of the siblings, is always up to mischief and is eager to take in Paris. Once the family arrives in Paris, they hear about the strange disappearances of young women throughout the city, and even more disturbing - the fact that Grayson has gone missing. Determined to find their brother, Ingrid and Gabby set off throughout Paris to attempt to locate Grayson. Behind the scenes, the handsome carriage boy named Luc is secretly watching and protecting the Waverly family, for he is actually a gargoyle - a Dispossessed who must live eternity protecting those in his territory. Things begin to escalate quickly when Luc protects Ingrid from a hellhound attack in the streets, Gabby finds a young man murdered in his apartment, and Grayson's location is revealed. Will the sisters be able to free their brother before it's too late?

    This was a wholly original and captivating book that truly is a breath of fresh air in the YA genre. The plot was very intricately woven with several smaller story lines coming together to form the bigger picture. I loved all of the characters throughout the novel - even the secondary ones had unique personalities. They all were very realistic and easy to identify with, especially the two sisters - Gabby and Ingrid. There is so much that happens throughout the book to even begin to attempt a review that won't take up a huge amount of space. The story crosses several genres and mingles action, adventure, fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction, romance, and mystery all together into a finely crafted novel. The blend of genres will appeal to fans of all types of literature, which definitely adds to its already high appeal. I loved learning about the gargoyles - their history and the basics of their nature were definitely appealing to me. I also loved learning about the Angelic Order and the Alliance and how all of them worked together to keep order in the world. The backstory behind the novel was well written and detailed and I hope to learn even more about it in the next installment of the series. The setting of the story is in Victorian Paris, which I found to be perfect. The city of Paris is teeming with gargoyles in the architecture and I have always had a love for France; so the story taking place their only made me love it more. There are definite openings at the end of the book which will carry over and hopefully be answered in the next book. The story was rich with twists and turns amid the many story lines and I loved the vivid description and detail that the author infused into the book. I am already eagerly waiting for the next book to be released so we can see what will happen next. Highly recommended for fans of all genres - especially YA fantasy, paranormal, and historical fiction.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    First review ever

    I have read hundreds of supernatural/romance books (adults and teens. I have NEVER written a review for any of the books i read. This book was refreashing, entertaining, thrilling and well written. I

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Great story with character development you don't often see in su

    Great story with character development you don't often see in supernatural thrillers. Page's writing style is elegant. The story flows evenly and rapidly with enough tension to pull the reader along into each plot twist and character revelation. It's refereshing to see a mature prose style in a first time author. Can't wait for the next installment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Beautiful and the Cursed was BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, THRILLING,

    The Beautiful and the Cursed was BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, THRILLING, and just such a surprising and fantastic read. I don't generally read paranormal and usually tread lightly and warily when I do but The Beautiful and the Cursed destroyed that. It left me dizzy from all the excitement, plot twists, and just good writing. Good writing is so hard to find.. great ideas are abundant but it is finding a book that has both and I am so happy I requested this for review. I've been raving about this book (and its sequel) on twitter ever since I finished reading them. The plot line for this series is so unique and combine multiple genres, something that I've come to enjoy and appreciate when I find it in novels. The Beautiful and the Cursed combines the historical genre, where the book is set in 1900, a fantasy element with some powers that we are introduced to, as well as paranormal elements with the whole concept of gargoyles. I also believe this book has an adventure element, a mystery, as well as kick butt and fantastic characters. The writing is always exciting and I find myself hooked anywhere I continue with the book. It's truly hard for me to find books that are gripping during the whole storyline. A fantastic plot without good characters is always a shame right? You don't see that in here. I love, truly love, all of the characters. The main protagonist, Ingrid is the twin sister of Grayson who goes missing in paris. Ingrid also has a feisty younger sister named Gabby who is actually my favorite character. If you told me this at the beginning of the novel I would have laughed in your face but the character development of Gabby is enthralling to witness and see. Her love interest too *whistle*. Ingrid however is the one that is more entangled with the gargoyles because she is the main protagonist and this book also has a romantic line with a gargoyle. I was a bit wary of the paranormal creatures but Morgan incorporates that into the novel in such a fantastic way. She actually weaves all the elements perfectly and the threads all fit right in to create this addicting and thrilling novel and the start of a fabulous trilogy (trust me, since i've already read the sequel, The Lovely and the Lost. I ended up loving it even more than this!)

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  • Posted May 1, 2014

    The Beautiful and the Cursed is an incredible gothic story with

    The Beautiful and the Cursed is an incredible gothic story with features I enjoy having in a book, yet Page Morgan includes enough fresh content to completely captivate me while reading.

    The first book in The Dispossessed series is a little bit historical fiction with some paranormal elements - but most of all, it's delightfully mysterious!

    Reasons to Read:

    1. A paranormal story featuring gargoyles:

    I've read all sorts of paranormal books (from vampires, to faeries, to werewolves, et al) but I've yet to read a story about gargoyles. I'm also less familiar with gargoyle mythology, so this was completely new and exciting to me as a reader. It's very cool to read about, and it really set this book apart from others for me. Gargoyles are seriously underrated!

    2. Unexpected characters:

    I honestly thought that I had Ingrid and her sister Gabby all figured out at the beginning of the story, along with the main male characters. So imagine my surprise when these characters (particularly the two sisters) ended up being completely unpredictable. There's much more to them than meets the eye, and I think they are going to continue to grow and develop in latter books and I can't wait to see what incredible fighters they become by the end.

    3. A creepy, macabre storyline:

    I like my books to be a little dark, because I find them more engaging that way. The Beautiful and the Cursed definitely did not disappoint in this way! There's so much going on with the mysterious murders, and I was racing along with Ingrid and Gabby to uncover what was happening in Paris. 

    I'll admit that I'm not (yet) sold on much of the romance, because it all felt rather sudden and artificial in some ways. It just felt like there was too much, way too soon. But at the same time, I still felt drawn into it and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series to find out more of what happens and how the characters grow. 

    Review copy received from Random House Canada for review; no other compensation was received.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013


    Amazing no other words to explain :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013


    Great story. Has twists that you didnt expect. The overview wasnt detailed so here what its about. 2 sisters and thier mom move into a house in paris. There are gargoyles on the building. After her twin grayson goes missing she will have to uncover dark secrets that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

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    Posted August 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

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