Margot is the daughter of a king, but she is beloved by neither his court nor his kingdom. She has water in her blood,” a trait associated with magic and looked upon with distaste and suspicion. When she meets Orrin, a foreign king who is respectful, not scornful, of her affinity for water, she flees with him to his castle by the sea, though she soon realizes he is not as benevolent as she first thought. Intertwined with Margot’s story is that of Bird, a storyteller who must tell stories for Orrin, though he can barely stand him. When Orrin steals the Book of the Sea, a magical gift given to Margot by her mother, Margot knows she must run away once again, and the threads of the two stories begin to intertwine.
A convincing and beautifully realized world, a strong-minded female protagonist, and elements of Celtic folklore mark this rich, multilayered fantasy. Author’s note.
"With political undertones as well as riveting personal drama, this fantasy will leave...readers looking for a sequel." (Starred Review) Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"The evocative settings, intricate plot and resourceful heroine make for an engrossing read." Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will...be caught up as Margot comes to terms with her magical powers and her mother's unfortunate secret." Publishers Weekly
"McCaffrey provides descriptive detail and excellent pacing...the book raises women's equality and censorship issues." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"The ending is thoughtful, lending readers to question if safety is worth the loss of personal freedoms." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Evocative descriptions and...Celtic folklore add much to this...young woman's search for a place that feels like home." School Library Journal