The Cursed Sea by Lauren DeStefano Review

Title: The Cursed Sea
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Format: eBook
Publication Date: December 18th, 2018
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars 
Source: Libby (Overdrive)

Wilhemina Heidle, the exiled princess of Northern Arrod, the girl thought dead by her family and friends, must return home. The only way to save Loom, the cursed prince of the Southern Isles, is to revisit the castle and discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unstable elder brother is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And the rest of her family must reckon with the truth of what happened to lead to Wil’s exile. With time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family if she’s going to find the truth and save the boy she loves.

When she’s finally able to reach Pahn, nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives, again and again, as the Southern King is out to punish his children for all they’ve done. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil, Loom—and his ruthless sister Espel—have to work to make peace with their own struggles if they hope to secure the future of their kingdoms.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time, for good?

This is a really tough to review for me to write because I did enjoy this book. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, but it didn’t capture me the way The Glass Spare did. There was just something that was a little off. I don’t know if it was the pacing or the fact that it was all a bit predicable but something just fell flat for me.Things I did like: How Wil’s relationship with her remaining brothers were strengthened. I thought the backstory to Wil’s curse was interesting and definitely lent a deeper thread to the story. It would have been nice though for that to have been a story in it’s own right. There was definitely enough there to give it substance. Instead it felt like filler in an already existing story.

Loom and Wil’s relationship was so so predictable. The slow dance they did in the first one that gave tension and added dimension to the characters just unraveled. Pretty much everything on that end was a snooze for me. By the end I wasn’t sure why these two loved each other as I wasn’t sure that they really knew and understood each other. The romantic relationship was the weak link in this book, and I think it was the cause of most of the issues I had. The writing was beautiful but that is where DeStefano shines. The prose and world-building was lovely and I’ll still pick up her books, but this one was a dud for me. 3 out of 5 stars.

3/5 – Worth Reading

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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“I was taught to speak and write a dozen languages, but there isn’t a word for what you mean to me.”
― Lauren DeStefano, The Cursed Sea