Trouble with the Cursed, Kim Harrison‘s latest book in the fantastically enjoyable Hollows series, will be released on June 14, 2022. Once again, witch-born demon Rachel Morgan finds herself in a hornet’s nest of supernatural trouble. As Cincinnati’s subrosa, the demon ringleader unofficially in charge of keeping all paranormal factions in line, it is Rachel’s job to maintain control amongst the various vampires, werewolves, witches, elves, and demons of the city.
When the vampire council sends a long undead master vampire from Washington DC to Cincinnati to confront Rachel and accuse her of killing Cincy’s previous master vampire, Rachel must defend herself and her right to rule the city while also trying to figure out which demons are in her corner and which are plotting against her. With her usual flare for improvisation in navigating dangerous situations, Rachel works to own and fix past mistakes while strengthening alliances amongst both friends and adversaries.
“You’re going to rot for that,” he said, face red as he hunched in a pupil-black-eyed frustration, but he didn’t dare make a move against me. Not when I was pissed. Not when I had a ley line burning through me, itching for direction. It was just him, and me, and whispers from the front room. I could smell the old blood on him, the danger, but after living with Ivy, I could tell he was small potatoes. And now, he knew I knew.
“Rot? Maybe someday, but not because of you,” I said softly, and he knocked my hand away before I could smooth his shirt. “If you don’t have a little blood on you, your bosses will know all you did was sit in the car. I’m the demon subrosa, and I will not have my I.S. mole under suspicion of misconduct because he took credit when credit was clearly not due. Now you look like you did something. You’re welcome.”– Quote from Chapter 1 of Trouble with the Cursed
I relish immersing myself in the world of the Hollows, reading about the latest escapades of these well developed characters and their latest adventures. While the plot, characters, and world building in Harrison’s stories proves endlessly entertaining, I find myself sometimes wishing a fraction of the tone would mature a bit as Rachel ages throughout what promises to be an immortally long life. However, despite her straight-from-the-80s catch phrases (“Yeah, right”), Rachel’s choices and outlook on life has evolved considerably. At this point in the series, she now maintains a stable supportive romantic relationship with the powerful leader of the elves, Trent Kalamack, and she has learned that the key to solidifying her leadership is strengthened by relying on her network of trusted companions, from her best friends, vampire Ivy Tamwood and pixie Jenks, to her demon mentor Al and her new second-in-command, vampire Pike Welroe.
While Harrison indicated that she had wrapped up the series with a happy-ever-after ending in book 13, The Witch with No Name, the Hollows series has indeed continued with new story arcs featuring all the old main characters and several new ones. Trouble with the Cursed now marks book 16 in the series, and it is clear there’s room for more to come.
In addition to reviewing seven other Kim Harrison books for this Damian Daily blog and other news and media outlets, I also once had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing bestselling author Kim Harrison.