Romance, betrayal and mystery are 3 words that sum up the plot of Marissa D’Angelo’s latest book, The Cursed Vessel. The Cursed Vessel, which is the third installment of the Charles Island series, tells the tale of William Kidd. At the start of the novel, William is kicked out of school for bad behavior. When he comes home, he learns that his father has died. He is only 13. So, he joins a ship and embarks on several journeys across the Atlantic. During the course of his adventures, he meets local Sarah and the two fall in love.
Overall, I really loved reading this book and I think that this was by far my favorite installment of the series to date. I know — an historical fiction novel about a Scottish pirate does not sound that interesting on the surface. I am more of a romance reader, so I was a bit skeptical going in. However, there is so much more to the story. This book is a juicy mix of romance and drama that kept me on the edge of my seat from the moment I clicked into it to the last page.
Now, let’s talk about the book, because I got a lot to say about this.
First, let’s talk about the romance of the book. Sarah and William meet one night while William is out on the town. Before they meet, William’s mom was questioning why he has travelled so many miles, but still has not met the woman of his dreams. That changes once he lays eyes on Sarah. The second the two meet, they fall instantly in love. Of course, there were some obstacles — which include an arranged marriage and the fact that William has to be away from work so often. However, you can not help but root for them to succeed.
Another thing that I had really enjoyed about this book was the drama throughout the series. There is some betrayal between William and shipmates, which causes him to lose some of the people that he is close to. Honestly, it gave me some Lion King/Macbeth vibes. That said, D’Angelo really did a great job laying down the scene for the reader, and left them hanging at the edge of their seat with their jaw dropped in shock.
Furthermore, I want to discuss some of the themes in this novel. They include: grief, curiosity, and of course, the chosen one arch. These themes can be scene in several other novels D’Angelo wrote as well, including the other two novels in the series.
That said, I have noticed that the island isn’t as big of a setting as it was in previous books. In the other two, the island was this big prominent thing. This one, not so much — although it was referenced from time to time. It did not take away from the quality of the book.
Overall, The Cursed Vessel is a quick read and one that can be consumed in one sitting. It is great black companion and is amazing to read when you need to reach that Goodreads goal. I give this book five out of five out of five stars. I will note that there are trigger warnings for grief and loss of a loved one.
The Cursed Vessel is now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!
Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.