Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

After reading Legends & Lattes I have been on a hunt for more cozy fantasy and this book was exactly what I was looking for!


A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication date: 17 March 2020
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Magic, Romance
Book Depository


“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.”


The House in the Cerulean Sea is a creative and beautiful fantasy story about real-life themes of belonging and found family. The story begins with Linus Baker, a 40-year-old caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth who has just been assigned a top-secret case to go to Marsyas orphanage and investigate the six magical children – Lucy, Talia, Theodore, Phee, Sal, and Chauncey – which were under Arthur Parnassus care.

When Linus steps onto the island, the story takes on a soft and cozy feeling as we meet all the heartwarming characters who have found a safe haven there from people who misunderstand and feared them. All of them were so vibrant and lovable that I just wanted to be part of their family. They also played a huge role in Linus’ change and made him realize that there is more to the world and that he shouldn’t be stuck inside his own bubble. Arthur might be my favorite out of all of them. He was lovely, patient, and very understanding of all the children. I loved his interaction with them and of course the SLOW BURN romance between him and Linus.

I not only LOVED the characters but also the setting of the book. When we got to the island everything just turned so magical. Everything about it was so well written that you feel like you were there and don’t want to leave. I felt like I was on vacation while reading this and it was the best I had so far if I say so myself.

But while the story does provide escapism for the readers, with its magical surroundings and a cast of extraordinary characters, the message still very much resonates in the ‘real world’. It’s like a fairy tale for adults, with a moral message at its core.

On the surface, the House in the Cerulean Sea is a feel-good fantasy novel but in the end, it’s about so much more. Highly recommend and I will pick up the rest of TJ Klune’s books.


TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company.

His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

🔥Author Website 🔥Amazon 🔥Goodreads 🔥Instagram


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Jaed 🌻 wanderlustbibliophile

🇵🇭 🌌Velaris 💻Blogger 📱Bookstagrammer 📚Just a girl with a room full of books and a passion for music and travel.

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