*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Darius, the former King of the Kingdom of Marcsnovia, has spent three years as prisoner on a fishing ship. Ever since Jay and Roselynn sentenced Darius, he’s been all alone in the world and paying for killing his father. When a storm hits the ship one night, Darius sees it as his on opportunity to escape. Except, the sea has other plans.
When he wakes up on shore, he sees a girl trying to take care of him. Marilee of Kirdsortt has been cursed. As a mermaid by day and a human by night, she cannot easily live in one world. But when she finds a fisherman drowning, she has to save him. Marilee and Darius couldn’t be more opposite. However, they both need each other. The two strike a deal: help Marilee return to her kingdom and in return, Darius will be rewarded with enough to start over.
Only it’s not that easy for a cursed princess and disgraced former king to stay unnoticed. And the sea is more treacherous than either of them imagined. Will Darius and Marilee be able to save each other, or will the political violence and sea monsters stand in their way of safety and happily ever after?
Wow! It’s been amazing watching Cece Louise grow as a writer. We learned about her debut book two years ago on Goodreads and her books keep getting better and better. The idea of Mazarine hooked us right away because we love mermaids.
We loved that Louise took Darius, our least favorite character in Desperate Forest and made him compelling. It felt realistic because Louise didn’t make outright sympathetic at first. When he and Marilee started working together, they couldn’t stand each other. You all know how much we enjoy a good hate to love romance. Darius had some major character growth, which lowkey reminded us of Zuko from Avatar.
We liked Marilee from the beginning. Not only was she super sweet, she was also a badass. She never treated anyone badly, but at the same time, she wouldn’t put up Darius’s crap either. She always did what she thought was right, no matter the consequences.
Now the action, especially at the end, had us excited. The multiple battle scenes (on land and under the sea) made us nervous for the duo. Some unexpected twists and turns had us on the edge of our seats. We especially liked that Darius and Marilee were connected in an unexpected way by a certain villain.
Some of the other characters from Louise’s other books make appearances. It was nice to get an update on their lives.
Overall, if you’re looking for an awesome fantasy series by an indie author, look no further! The world building has gotten really strong and we love a good redemption arc.