Curse of the Celts
Author: Clara O’Connor
Pages: 461 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopia
Published: 18th March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars!
You are accused of crimes against the Code. How do you plead?
After failing to escape the Roman metropolis of Londinium with Devyn, her lover, and Marcus, her betrothed, Cassandra wakes in inky darkness to find the ground giving way to sand beneath her feet.
All three of them have been carted back to the notorious arena at the heart of the city to stand trial by public vote. Cass knows they must escape at any cost: to warn the Celts of the mysterious blood curse ravaging their kin, to foil the schemes of the imperial council…
To find the fabled Lady of the Lake, the one who could save them all.
But even as the jaws of death close in around her, another threat looms in the shadows, a danger she never could have foreseen, a betrayal that could burn down her entire world.
First of all thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wow. Where to even start! After the cliff-hanger of the first book I was desperate to find out what would happen next with our three main characters; Cassandra, Devyn and Marcus. You can read my review for Secrets of the Starcrossed here.
Curse of the Celts begins right where Secrets of the Starcrossed ended, and I was immediately transported back into the story. What I liked most about this sequel was the exploration of the Briton world. The first book felt very dystopian, which I loved but the world built in this felt almost like home. Cassandra spends much of this book searching for her true home, and I loved the development in this sense. The Briton world is a stark contrast to Londinium and we explored many places and family names that I recognise from history. We are introduced to the Briton lands on Samhain, a celebration taking place on 31st October. The lands are more magical, which got me very excited for the rest of this book as it set the scene for magic taking a larger role.
‘He’s done it. You’re not some random latent he found in the city.’
I loved the character development in this book! Cassandra is so much more confident and doesn’t rely on the boys to tell her what she wants. She has more of an idea of her goals and strives for them, she felt like a stronger version of herself. Devyn grew on me more towards the end of this book. At first, he felt very hot and cold, and he’s actions were very frustrating at times as he didn’t always consider the feelings of others. However, Devyn definitely redeemed himself in the second half of the book, as he appeared to recognise what was important to him and actually fought for it. I really liked Marcus throughout this book, and despite knowing that Cassandra loved Devyn, part of me wanted to know what a future with Marcus would look like. His character was appealing as we got to know him more deeply in this novel.
‘Anything is possible. You found me, after all.’
Along with a new world, there were new characters in this book, and Gideon was 100% my favourite. I loved his character and I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the course of this book. The chemistry between Cassandra and Gideon was amazing, and I also found myself shipping them together. Clara O’Connor has created an amazingly complex world with similarly complex characters, and I found myself wanting Cassandra with Devyn, Gideon, and Marcus! There were some other new characters but for the sake of spoiling, I am not going to talk about them, but I will say I loved them!
‘We cannot lose the lady again. If you lack a protector, I will offer you my sword.’
I recommend this series to lovers of YA dystopia and fantasy. The world building is stunning in both books and the character development over the course of the two is great. The second book seems to embrace more elements of the fantasy genre than the first, but I could not recommend them more. I never wanted to put this down. Curse of the Celts definitely exceeded my expectations and I am now desperate for the final instalment after the horrible cliff-hanger! That ending made me extremely emotional and I now feel like I am in the middle of a great book hangover. As soon as it’s possible, I will be getting my hands on Legends of the Lake!
Have you read this series, what did you think? Or is it on your tbr?