Overall, I felt like the first one was better because it had a better plot and storyline. Having the younger cousin, Dosinia, come to the land was interesting as was seeing the juxtaposition of Lily having her previous ideas for her future go against the new ones.
Going from thinking you would be a Princess in line for the throne eventually, to giving it up to live on land would indeed be difficult. I do think that everything I felt wrapped up a little too neatly here though.
Dosinia should have had more teeth. She was left as a cliffhanger in book one and then basically all bark, no bite in this installment. That felt like an odd choice.
Also Quince being able to magically hang out in the kingdom again was too perfect. Yeah he got mad and whatnot, but every challenge was met with a magical solution for instance.
I would recommend this one for anyone that has read the first one as it was still a fun tale. I am looking forward to the third in this series.