I’d heard great things about The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune for a long time and heard it was cozy fantasy with the found family trope. And it is!
In the novel, Linus Baker is a case worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. Basically, he visits orphanages that house magical children and checks on them to make sure they are taking good care of the children. Linus gets sent to a remote orphanage on an island that supposedly has children that are more “dangerous”.
When he arrives at the orphanage, Linus meets the six children and the head of the orphanage, Arthur. The children are: Talia – a gnome, Phee – a sprite, Theodore – a wyvern, Chauncey – an unidentifiable green blob, Sal – a were-Pomeranian, and Lucy or Lucifer the Antichrist. Linus has always been very professional and made it a point to not get close with any of the children or the heads of the orphanages to maintain a impartial view of what is going on in the houses. But spending a month at Marsyas Island and living in the guest house in the back leaves him little choice but to get to know everyone on a more personal level. His time there makes him question the treatment of the magical children and the government’s role in keeping track of them. It also teaches him about friendship and family.
I loved Arthur and how he brought out a more carefree side to Linus – albeit slowly! The very slow burn romance between the two is very loving and sweet. And I loved how over time, Linus really started to care for all the kids! It was so sweet and heartwarming. Lucy was my favorite character. The little 6 year old Anti-Christ was so funny and cute!
This was my first TJ Klune book but I’ve heard his books all have the same cozy fantasy vibe so I would definitely check out more of his books.
Read this if you want a cozy fantasy with the found family trope!
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