Does anyone know the name of an adult fantasy novel that had a female main character who was unable to take revenge on someone due to being cursed to not be able to harm anyone and help anyone who asks?

It came out in the last five years, and the main character had magic. I think she was cursed as punishment for something she was framed for, and that was the person she wanted revenge on. It had at least 300 pages, I think the cover was dark green and brown.


2 Answers 2


Could it be Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier, or one of its sequels (Tower of Thorns or Den of Wolves)?

Cover: mostly blue, a little brown. The sequel's cover is mostly green. First book was released in 2015, and is adult fantasy. 464 pages.

Book cover of "Dreamer's Pool" Book cover of "Tower of Thorns"

Partial description:

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she'll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Where this differs from your recollection: she's less cursed and more "required to help anyone who asks/not harm people/not seek revenge" by a fey-type character who helps her escape from prison. The consequence of breaking these rules is that she would go right back to the time before she escaped (which is sort of a curse, I suppose). However, the person who enspelled her was helping her rather than punishing her. She was framed and imprisoned by an evil man who's the one she wants vengeance against.

  • Thanks so much, yeah, that's definitely the one I was trying to remember, sorry about the fuzzy details!
    – LemonFire
    Sep 27, 2017 at 15:44
  • Yay! I love this series (the sequel made me cry to an embarrassing extent), so glad I could help! :)
    – Kitkat
    Sep 27, 2017 at 15:52

This doesn't quite match all that you described, but I immediately thought of this when I read the question.

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine?

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse? At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift--the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse--once and for all.

In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom'and she'll have to obey? Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella's quest to break the curse once and for all and discover who she really is is as sharply funny as Catherine, Called Birdy and as richly poignant as Beauty, and has all the marks of a classic in the making.

The cover is mostly brown, and she's wearing a dark green dress on the cover, so that sort of matches the cover description. The plot line fits too (mostly). It didn't come out in the past five years, and it's not exactly an adult fiction book, but people's memories do funny things :P


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