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Early Review: The Sea King by C.L. Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral #2)

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The Sea King by CL Wilson // VBC ReviewThe Sea King (Weathermages of Mystral #2)
C.L. Wilson
Published: October 31, 2017 (Avon)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it may reference previous events in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of The Winter King.

By the tradition of the Calbernan’s, Sea prince Dilys Merimydion earned his right to take a wife four years ago. However, fighting other people’s wars has kept him from fulfilling that which the Calbernan’s live for. After aiding the people of Wintercraig in the defeat the Ice King, Dilys has been invited to court the three princesses of Summerlea—known as Spring, Autumn, and Summer. He’s vowed to bring home a strong and fierce mate as any daughter born between them will be the next ruler of Calbernan. Dilys has been nudged toward choosing Seasons Spring and Autumn as they are known for their strong gifts, but it’s Summer, the Season no one knows much about, that catches his eye.

There’s a reason Summer is known as the “nice” Season and not for her strength of power. It’s because if she was to truly release the full scope of her gifts, there’s no end to the damage they’d do. All her life, Summer has kept a tight lock on her powers, choosing to remain soft-spoken and in the background behind her seemingly more formidable sisters, but then along comes Dilys who challenges everything she thought she knew about herself.

The time for pushing down her powers comes to an end when the Seasons are kidnapped by pirates. Summer will have to rely on her powers if she and her sisters want to survive. And while Dilys does all he can to bring them home safely, he’ll uncover a conspiracy within his household that changes everything he thought he knew about the past.

After reading CL Wilson’s famed Tairen Soul series, I was hooked. She’s now one of my go-to authors for romantic fantasy and this conviction was only solidified upon reading The Winter King. I anxiously waited and waited for the release of The Sea King and was beyond excited when I finally heard we would actually get this story as its release was pushed back a few times.

Fans of CL Wilson will love diving (ha!) right into this book. Wilson definitely knows how to craft wonderful, fantastical worlds and the sea setting is one of her best. The development is steady with the blossoming romance between Dilys and Summer taking up more than half of the story—justifiably seeing as how this is a romance. The kidnapping plotline is established early on, so readers are quite aware something is coming, and it’s this anticipation that aids in driving the story forward, but its execution and resolution is relegated to about the latter third of the book. which for me, started to feel both like it was a little rushed and yet dragged the ending since the entire conspiracy takes a bit to fully flesh out.

One of the ideas I loved the most about the story was the how CL Wilson established Calbernan as a matriarchal society. I wished we had spent more time exploring this and what it would have meant for Summer, as an oulani (i.e. Outlander), to marry into a Calbernan household, especially given the contrast between this society and the horrifying violations against Summer and her sisters that occur during the kidnappings.

While the overall story followed a somewhat predictable pattern, I loved the world and the imagery CL Wilson created. While The Sea King is a standalone story, there are certain things left open at the end that will lead nicely into the next (and final?) book in the series. So now, after waiting years for this book, I can now begin to anxiously await the next!

Sexual content: Scenes of sexual assault, sex

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