The Cup and the Prince Summary

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the cup and the prince cover

The Cup and the Prince (Kingdom of Curses and Shadows Book 1 summary)

Zora lives in the Dark Valley. It’s a secluded place in the kingdom surrounded by walls, and its inhabitants aren’t allowed to leave. In this valley, shadow creatures spawn in the dark, even in the smallest spaces, and they survive even in daylight. Everyone carries a sword and knows how to fight, including 17-year-old Zora, who is a school teacher (equivalent to an elementary school teacher), teaching some kids (9- 11 year olds) about everything, including self defense. Her parents are doctors. 

Zora’s boyfriend, Seth, is one of the best rangers in the valley. Rangers light up the valley and fight shadow creatures. This year, one representative of the valley will be allowed to participate in the Royal Games and go to the castle, and it’s Seth. They are in his bedroom, saying goodbye the night before he leaves for the games, and he wants her to give him a parting “gift”. Zora is a virgin, quite terrified of doing it, and reconsidering her decision. A shadow creature attack interrupts them, and after the attack she learns he was planning on never coming back and also cheating on her. As revenge, she gives him a sleep draught and steals the letter and the rod that the champion should carry, so that she’ll take his place in the competition. 

Zora leaves the valley and heads to an inn in a nearby town, where the royal delegation is staying. There, she has an altercation with a stranger and threatens him with her sword, just because she felt he was dismissive of her because she’s a girl. 

The stranger is prince Griffin. He just started an affair/relationship with Alegra, who’s a princess from a nearby kingdom, and betrothed to his older brother, Kiran, who’s king. He’s feeling guilty and confused, but his attraction to Alegra is stronger than his guilt. He isn’t angry at Zora for having attacked him, just perhaps intrigued. 

Stavos, an assistant to the crown, takes Zora to the castle. There, Zora learns that the young man she attacked is prince Griffin, who is taking part in and helping organize the games. He claims the games are too dangerous for her and that she should participate in the festivities and find a good husband. Zora is angry that he’s underestimating her. Griffin’s older brother, prince Larzen, intervenes, so that Griffin reluctantly allows Zora to compete. Larzen tells Zora he knows she is an impostor and asks her to help him with flirting games so that he’ll help her with the competition. Zora agrees. 

Zora shares a room with Loretta, who’s friendly. After eating, Zora goes to the library to do some research and meets Griffin again, who’s polite but asks her to quit the competition. She refuses. Later, she finds herself locked in a room in the library, and about to be late for the games. Someone opens the door for her and she barely makes it to the presentation of the champions in time. She learns that the winner will have to defeat a lion and feels sad for the animal.

The next day, Larzen asks Zora to flirt with a young man in a garden. She goes to the garden but mostly challenges the young man. Larzen then shows a dungeon where Seth is being held, and says Zora had better do what he asks or he’ll release Seth, who can tell the kingdom that Zora is an impostor. 

Thanks to Larzen’s tips, Zora wins the first challenge. In the ball afterwards, she befriends Mauro, a strong and tall competitor who doesn’t have an eye. Zora finds out that she flirted with Kiran, the young king. Kiran and Alegra announce their engagement. Even so, Kiran asks Zora to dance and is flirty with her. Later, a drunk Griffin asks Zora to dance, but he’s so drunk she takes him to the garden where he pukes and collapses. She takes him back to his bedroom and makes sure he feels well. He’s mumbling and she finds out that he was interested or having something with Alegra. 

Griffin wakes up with a pleasant feeling, remembering someone taking care of him. He wakes up and Alegra is there. He tells her to leave, but she sings and then he gets confused and attracted to her. In his confusion, he thinks she was the one who took care of him, but he doesn’t understand why she’s still engaged to his brother. 

He has a dungeon with magical objects and a bassin of truth. He asks if Alegra loves him. He sees Zora instead, quite distraught and in tears, begging someone to stop something. The vision shakes him, and more than ever he wants her out of the games. 

The next competition includes horse riding, but thanks to Larzen, Zora got some lessons.  In the arena, Alegra stops by each competitor and touches Zora’s horse. When she mounts the mare, it goes crazy and Zora almost falls, but thanks to the horse misbehaving, she does well in the challenge. 

Griffin calls Zora to his office and asks her if she used dark magic in the horse. She denies, and when she suggests it was Alegra who did it, he changes the subject. But he believes Zora, and asks her to come to him if she feels she’s in danger. 

In the second ball, King Kiran dances again with Zora. He invites her to work for him and be his “magical advisor” while subtly insinuating that he wants her as his lover. Zora doesn’t confront him but doesn’t say yes either, and leaves right after that. 

In the hallway, someone with a knife attacks Zora, but she takes the knife and the assailant runs away. 

The next day, she goes to Griffin to tell him about the assassin. He’s quite concerned and assigns her two guards. He also suggests that she change the key to her room. Zora is impressed at how thoughtful he is. 

Griffin meets Alegra near some ruins, and asks her to stop trying to harm Zora. He thinks the princess is jealous of the king. He also thinks she might have sent the assassin. Alegra sings and he gets confused and again attracted by Alegra.

Zora goes for a ride with her friend Loretta and her two guards, Natasha and Isabelle. By some ruins, she sees Griffin’s and Alegra’s clothes on the ground and realizes what they are doing, horrified that she trusted the prince. When she comes back to her room at night, Alegra is there, key in hand, saying that those matters concern her too. Zora leaves the castle and goes to the city with Loretta and her guard Isabelle, to stay at an inn, now that she feels unsafe in the castle. 

The next day, Griffin finds Zora training and showing her guard a motivational cry that she teaches her students. He asks Zora to be careful. Larzen finds her at the inn and reminds her she has a competition in 3 hourse. Without time to train or plan, she starts thinking that maybe the guards were told to distract her. She also starts to wonder if Griffin is the one who sent the assassin. 

Zora barely passes the next challenge. She also learns that Loretta left the city, and feels alone, now that she doesn’t trust anyone around her. 

The next day Zora goes to a picnic with Larzen, Griffin, Kiran, and Alegra. Griffin starts looking at Zora differently. Zora goes into the ruins with Kiran and agrees to be his “potion girl”, despite knowing that he wants more than just her magical skills. She’s doing it to anger Alegra and Griffin, who had warned her against Kiran. Alegra is caught alone with Griffin, uses her magic singing on him, and asks him to humiliate Zora. When everyone’s back, Griffin asks Larzen if he’s sleeping with Zora and she leaves the picnic, determined not to flirt with anyone anymore and stop playing Larzen’s games. 

After another challenge, Zora goes out to celebrate with Mauro (the champion who just got eliminated) and his friends. She returns with the guard Isabelle, and is almost attacked by three dogs that turn out to be Griffin’s. Isabelle calls the prince, who calms down the dogs and asks Zora to talk to him. In his office, she confronts him about his relationship with Alegra, says she’s not going to tell anyone, and asks him to stop trying to kill her. Griffin is confused, doesn’t remember much, and doesn’t answer things properly. Zora leaves his office and finds out King Kiran heard everything she said. She is forced to confess she’s seen Griffin and Alegra together. Kiran doesn’t look upset, and says he’ll help Zora win the games. 

Zora  agrees to brew a potion to make Griffin slow and confused, so that he’ll lose his challenge against her, which is probably going to be sword fighting. Griffin is outstanding at sword fighting and Zora knows that she’ll have no chance otherwise. Before the challenge, Griffin takes the juice with the potion, and Kiran asks Zora to sit with him in the stands. She gets nervous because she wanted to get ready to fight Griffin and because the effect of the potion might fade. 

Zora sees them bringing the lion and realizes they are about to make Griffin fight the animal while partially incapacitated with her potion. She begs Kiran to stop it. It’s just like Griffin’s vision; she’s in tears, distraught. Kiran doesn’t stop the challenge and Zora jumps in the arena and saves Griffin,but then the king orders soldiers to attack and kill Griffin, who’s now unconscious on the ground. Zora stands in the way and is hit on the shoulder by an arrow. Surrounded and outnumbered, she knows she has no chance, but she doesn’t step away from Griffin, determined to die defending him if necessary.  

Alegra comes into the arena singing and everyone stops, so that she saves Griffin and Zora. Mauro helps Zora carry Griffin out of the arena, take a cart with a horse, and escape the city. 

On the way, Griffin wakes up. He learns that Zora saved him, realizes his vision and the fear she felt were for him, and kisses her. She likes the kiss and realizes she’d been wanting to kiss him for some time, but she pushes him away, afraid that he’s still in love with Alegra and that he’d want nothing with Zora because he’s a prince and she’s a commoner.

We get Alegra’s point of view. Her real name is Riadne and she’s not sure why she used that much magic, and how she’ll go through with her plan to have the brothers destroying each other. 

Griffin is feeling better and agrees to go to the Dark Valley, where Zora can get medical attention from her parents, as she’s wounded from the arrow. He then realizes what day it is, and that night is about to fall, and gets worried. He tells Zora that there will be a monster tonight, and that the monster’s him. 

Step Into Magic Summary

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Step Into Magic by Day Leitao

Karina finds fascinating silver shoes. A princess, Cayla, invites her to go to her dimension to defeat the witch Lylah and destroy the shoes, and Karina goes, because she believes the shoes are evil. There, she realizes that things are more complicated than she first believed, as there are forces rebelling against the king, and Cayla’s love interest, Darian, is part of these forces. The king and General Keen are afraid of magic and even Karina ends up imprisoned when they believe she can use magic.


The girls escape, Cayla discovers that Lylah is her mother who had been imprisoned, then Karina destroys the shoes and frees her. The rebel forces take the castle. Meanwhile, Sian, Darian’s brother, wants to use the confusion to conquer the kingdom for his father, General Keen, but he quits when he realizes he has to confront magic he doesn’t know.

14-year-old Karina buys fascinating shoes in a garage sale. When her best friend, Zoe, borrows them without Karina's consent, she falls and breaks her leg. Karina thinks the shoes caused her friend's accident, but she doesn't throw them away.

One night Karina is visited by a beautiful woman who says she's the owner of the shoes and is going to buy them by granting a wish, but she doesn't accept any of Karina's wishes and promises to return the following evening. A couple hours later, Karina is visited by two teenagers, Cayla and Ayanna, who say they are princesses in Whyland, and that Karina needs to go to their kingdom to destroy the shoes. They also say that the woman who visited Karina is Lylah, a dangerous witch. Curious and eager to go to a different dimension, Karina goes.

In Whyland, Karina meets Odell, the girls' teacher who advises them about their journey. She also meets Nia, the king's pregnant wife, who tries to stop the girls from destroying the shoes, claiming it's dangerous and that Odell is leading them into a trap. Despite Nia, Cayla and Karina set on a journey to Lylah's castle to destroy the shoes in her fireplace. They are supposed to go on foot, but Cayla decides to call Darian, a friend she hasn't seen in over a year because her father forbids their relationship. She can communicate with him using her necklace. Meanwhile, Sian, who's Darian's brother, learns that Cayla has left the castle and is intrigued.

Darian is in the army and flies a lift, a flying craft. He meets Cayla but his worry about her safety upsets her because she thinks he is being controlling. At Darian's lift, Cayla learns he has a beautiful girl, Zayra, as a flying partner, and gets angry, claiming she doesn't trust the girl. Cayla and Darian argue. The following day, however, despite his worries, he leaves Cayla where she wanted, a two-day walking distance to Lylah's castle. She doesn't tell him about her plans to destroy the shoes.

As Karina and Cayla are on their way to Lylah's castle, they are captured by insurgents who are rebelling against the king, Cayla's father. From their conversation, Karina learns that Zayra told them their location, and that Darian works with them. She also learns that they believe they are fighting against brutality. Despite their peaceful intentions, the rebels want to cut the girls' fingers, but before they can do that, Karina and Cayla teleport back to the castle. Karina believes the shoes made them teleport.

In the castle, Karina is imprisoned. Odell tells her she is dangerous and plotting to take the kingdom. She still has the shoes but she can't teleport or do anything as she's in a room that blocks magic. Sian is curious because he thinks something important is happening and wants to talk to her, but Odell doesn't let him.

In her second night, Karina is visited by Nia. The woman claims to be escaping the king, who now thinks Nia is a witch. She wants to save her newborn son and help Karina escape.They run into Odell, who says he also wants to help them. Nia is suspicious but accepts his help. Karina is also suspicious but has no choice. General Keen, the army's commander, finds them and, together with some guards, tries to imprison them, but they escape. Nia fails to rescue her son, but Odell tells her that Cayla is also in danger, as her father suspects she can yield magic, and that the girls need to escape. Odell claims he was pretending when he told Karina she was dangerous. He asks Nia to protect the girls, says he needs to stay behind, and promises to protect Nia's son.

Ayanna, Cayla, Karina, and Nia take a secret tunnel that should lead them to the top of a mountain just by Lylah's castle. Cayla believes her father is just stressed and that he will come around once the shoes are destroyed. Nia tells Karina in private that she thinks Odell is working with Lylah, and that she might want to side with Lylah to defeat the king, while at the same time protecting Ayanna and Cayla. Nia is no longer sure that Lylah is evil. Karina is also unsure about who to trust.

Sian meets his father, General Keen, who asks him to kill Nia and the girls. Sian asks to do it in person and not have anyone else involved.

While in the tunnel, when everyone's sleeping, Cayla talks to Darian using her necklace. She forgives him and they confess their mutual feelings. Cayla asks Darian in which side he is, and he says he's on her side. Darian tells her he'll meet her at the summit where the tunnel is supposed to lead. Later, Cayla tells Karina that they might meet Darian, but that nobody can know how close they are.

In the summit, Darian shows up and Nia is angry that Cayla called someone from the army, but Darian claims nobody knows he's there, he's not like his father, general Keen, and he's only there for Cayla.

At night, Nia talks to Darian and he confesses that he works with the insurgents and wants to depose the king, Cayla's father, but that he can't tell that to Cayla. He says that the current government, including his father, General Keen, is violent and oppressive, and that a good part of the army is ready to support the insurgence.

They don't finish the conversation, as lifts approach the summit. It's the insurgents, who want to take Cayla and Ayanna hostage. After a lot of fighting and confusion, in which Cayla learns Darian works with the insurgents and a lift explodes, Darian ends up siding with the insurgents and suggests taking Cayla and her sister hostage. He convinces them to leave Nia and Karina alone, but Karina remembers that Cayla has to go to Lylah's castle as well, so they go with Cayla and Ayanna. In the air, Nia knocks out everyone, so that only Darian is awake, and they convince him to take them to Lylah's castle.

Lylah's castle has no exit, and Lylah shows up claiming her castle is a prison and that her daughter or the king's daughter can free her. Lylah tells Cayla she's her mother. Cayla is upset and refuses to open a door to free Lylah. Ayanna does it. The castle collapses, and instead of giving Lylah the shoes, Karina throws them in the fire, causing the castle to disappear and saving them. They are in the open and two lifts appear and try to shoot them, but Lylah brings them down with her magic. She teleports them away from that island, back to the summit. Lylah feels that her brother is in danger, and she, Nia, and Ayanna teleport to the castle.

While the insurgents are attacking the castle, Cayla calls Darian, and he tells her to hide and stay safe. A lift approaches. It's Sian. He knocks out Cayla and his flying companion, but leaves Karina awake, saying she's harmless. Karina learns that he is not working with the rebels or the king. He's working with another part of the army. His plan is to depose the king so that his father, General Keen, takes the throne. Their plan is to benefit from the confusion caused by the insurgents, and he wants to keep Cayla as a hostage because he can use her against the king and Darian.

Sian is sometimes flirty, but always polite to Karina. She thinks he's not a bad person and that he shouldn't be supporting his evil father. She also tells him Lylah is powerful and asks him to cancel the attack. Sian claims Karina doesn't know enough about Whyland to decide who's right and who's wrong, and that someone should give her a book. He puts Cayla and Karina in a cell, apologizes, and promises he'll be back.

Cayla awakes and the girls try to come up with a way to warn Lylah about Sian and his impending attack. Karina realizes that it wasn't the shoes that made her teleport, but her own magic, and the girls teleport to the castle. There, General Keen finds them, captures Cayla, and almost kills Karina, who teleports. Karina warns the insurgents and Lylah, who have taken the castle, about Sian's attack and Cayla being imprisoned.

Nia takes Karina to the tower to teleport back home. Darian goes to his father and tries to convince him to free Cayla. He fails, but Lylah kills general Keen before he harms Cayla. Sian is told that Karina disappeared from the cell and realizes that she teleported and that magic is real. With his surprise factor gone, having to face magic for which he is unprepared, and now believing Karina's words, he cancels the attack. The insurgents win and the king is imprisoned.

Kissing Magic's prologue happens here. 

In the evening, Darian goes to Cayla's room. Unaware that Karina lives in a different dimension, he tells her his brother asked him to give Karina a book. Cayla thinks Sian played a joke on them. She's very angry because everyone lied to her, including and especially Darian. He apologizes and promises he'll never again lie to her. They kiss then tell each other everything they'd been hiding.

At home, a few days later, Karina is visited by Lylah, who tells her the insurgents won, she was crowned queen, and everything is fine in Whyland. She has a book for Karina, from Sian, but says Sian disappeared. Lylah claims Karina's magic made a lift explode, and that she had magic in Whyland.

Kissing Magic Summary

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Kissing Magic cover

Darian and Cayla come to Karina inviting her to go to Whyland, a kingdom in another dimension. This time, the idea is to save Sian, Darian's brother, who has been petrified. Karina has to kiss him. 

When Karina kisses the statue, Sian doesn't wake up. They are attacked by mysterious magic creatures and Karina teleports home with Sian, then kisses him on the cheek and he wakes up. He promises to help keep her safe and to help her understand why she's being chased by mysterious magic creatures and she goes to Whyland with him.

Karina goes with Sian and some friends to the Darloom castle, where the creatures are coming from. There, she falls in love with him, and he asks her to retrieve a magical staff for him. It's in a pocket dimension, and since she canteleport, she can retrieve it. When she tries to take it, she's transported to a desolate land with gigantic flying creatures, but she returns. 

Karina confronts him, and he says he had no idea about this other dimension. But he also confesses that he pretended to be cursed to get Karina to Whyland. He even controlled the magic creatures that chased her. It was all part of his plan. Karina gets angry, but ends up forgiving him.

The next day, Sian tells her they are going to march to the castle and overthrow the queen, who's Cayla's mother. Karina doesn't agree with it, and she thinks Sian was using her for power.

Broken-hearted and angry, she teleports away, to the Queen's castle. There, she meets Cayla. The Queen is not in Whyland and Cayla and Darian were responsible for the kingdom.

Cayla and Karina try to stop Sian and his creatures but they fail when they are attacked by those gigantic flying things from the other dimension. Darian, together with Liam, who used to be Sian's friend, rescue Cayla and Karina, and they go north, to try to find his village.

They find a magical city, the Light Gardens. There, they learn that the real villain is a creature called Darloom, and that it's in Marisia, the desolate land with the flying creatures. There's a chance they will breach the dimensions and invade Whyland. In the Light Gardens, trying to forget Sian, Karina kisses Liam, but she doesn't like it. 

Karina decides to talk to Sian. He listens to her and is ready to step down, but then they have a disagreement when he learns that she kissed someone else. Karina decides to go home, but ends up trapped in Marisia instead.

Sian learns that Karina is in Marisia and goes to his brother, to ask Cayla to help him teleport there. Darian and Cayla help him reluctantly, and Sian goes to Marisia, where he helps Karina escape, but then he remains trapped there. He makes a deal with some of the creatures and agrees to challenge their king.

There's a breach in dimensions and the maris, the gigantic magic birds, invade Whyland. Sian takes the opportunity to go to his home dimension.

Karina finds him, and tells him that together they can close the portals and send everyone back where they came from. They use their love to power the magic to close the portals, and it's only then that they realize that they love each other. Still, Karina is sent home, but Sian is sent to Marisia.