The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao – Book Review

Hello fellow book nerds!

I was drawn in by this cover and the story. It was definitely unique in nature and an indie book you shouldn’t pass up!

Thank you to the author who supplied a copy of this book via YABC for review. Please be sure to check out the website.

Happy Reading!

The Cup and the Prince

Day Leitao

The Cup and The Prince (Kingdom of Curses and Shadows #1)

4 out of 5 stars


Taken from Goodreads

Yes, 17-year-old Zora cheated her way into the Royal Games, but it was for a very good reason.

Her ex-boyfriend thought she couldn’t attain glory on her own. Just because she was a girl. And he was the real cheater.

So she took his place.

Now she’s competing for the legendary Blood Cup, representing the Dark Valley. It’s her chance to prove her worth and bring glory for her people. If she wins, of course.

But winning is far from easy. The younger prince thinks she’s a fragile damsel who doesn’t belong in the competition. Determined to eliminate her at all costs, he’s stacking the challenges against her. Ha. All he’s doing is making her want that cup more than ever.

The older prince is helping her, but the cost is getting Zora entangled in dangerous flirting games. Flirting, the last thing she wanted.

And then there’s someone trying to kill her.


The story itself is pretty simple but there was a rawness to it that I really enjoyed. It starts off with our heroine pretty much saying she was being a petty, revengeful girl and that’s how it all stared. I do wish there was a little more background of the Dark Forest but that wasn’t the main point of this book. The main point was Zora making it to the city and winning the challenge. There is a lot that goes on without making it seem like a lot. This was definitely good writing and made the flow nice. There wasn’t a lot of filler with training or balls. It was very straight to the point which I definitely appreciated. The one aspect I absolutely loved about this book was how real it felt. Sure, it’s fantasy but every decision felt accurate and nothing that didn’t seem unnatural. I also really enjoyed the challenges. I know I’m using the word refreshing a lot but it just so accurately describes how I feel about this book. Each challenge was different and wasn’t the same battle over and over again. This was really fun to read how Zora overcame each one. The ending was a little wild and definitely makes me want to continue the series.

Zora was an interesting main character. I feel like there is a part of me that wants to dislike her but it’s nearly impossible. I think the reason why is because most characters written like her don’t realize what they are doing and think it’s alright but Zora always accepted what she did. She knew if she was being petty or doing something wrong but accepted it. I absolutely loved this about her. Another refreshing idea in this book was that Zora wasn’t this overpowering girl. Sure, she was strong in her homeland but she wasn’t naive enough to believe that she could be stronger than her male rivals. Zora needed to be smart and I really liked how she maneuvered each challenge.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao was a refreshing fantasy story. I do wish more about the land and this world was talked about but the main focus of the book was Zora winning the challenge. It was interesting reading the different challenges instead of the same ones used throughout all of fantasy books. Zora was a great main character to follow and definitely was unique. She was aware of her limits and tried her best to come up with different solutions to each challenge. I definitely can’t wait to continue her and Griffin’s story.

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