For the most part, the pace was decent, but it did start to drag a few times. And when that happened, instead of easing into a new conflict, something would just happen. I don't mean in the way that "the ladies were having tea and then a giant ostrich burst through the sitting room window." It was more like something would be causally brought up out of the blue like it was nothing and all of a sudden it was something and everyone just pretends it was something all along.
For instance, I have a terrible memory, especially when it comes to book, so maybe I just don't recall Cora being sick from the first book. Either way, it was just casually brought up that she was dying and I was slightly confused when nobody in the book was freaking out. And there's the whole healing magic thing. It's just all "oh, yeah, Cate can do this thing" and then it becomes a huge Thing later. I just used "thing" way too many times.
It's been a while since I hated a character -- villain or not -- as much as I hated Maura in Star Cursed. Pardon my language, but she's a bitch. I know I'm probably supposed to see her side of things and try to sympathize, but I just can't. Her stubborn inability to see how much she was hurting everyone around her and the woe-is-me-nothing-ever-goes-my-way attitude seriously grated on my nerves. And the end scene had me rooting for Cate to shove her in front of a carriage. The worst part of it all, though, is that Maura never once shows remorse.
The Nutshell: Star Cursed is a good sequel to Born Wicked. The story dragged a few times for me, but the pacing was good overall. Towards the end I was starting to get annoyed with Cate's naivete, but she really proved herself to me in the last few pages. And then there's Maura. I don't really think she's supposed to be a villain, but I almost hated her more than the Brotherhood. I'm kind of hoping she gets what's coming to her in the next book (I know, I'm vindictive and terrible.)