In a small river village where the water is cursed, a girl’s bravery—and the existence of magic—could mean the difference between life and death in this elegant, luminous tale from the author of Parched and Audacity.
Along a lively river, in a village raised on stilts, lives a girl named Luna. All her life she has heard tales of the time before the dam appeared, when sprites danced in the currents and no one got the mysterious wasting illness from a mouthful of river water. These are just stories, though—no sensible person would believe in such things.
Beneath the waves is someone who might disagree. Perdita is a young water sprite, delighting in the wet splash and sparkle, and sad about the day her people will finally finish building their door to another world, in search of a place that humans have not yet discovered.
But when Luna’s little sister falls ill with the river sickness, everyone knows she has only three weeks to live. Luna is determined to find a cure for her beloved sister, no matter what it takes. Even if that means believing in magic. . . .
This book came out in September, 2015
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
I’ve been on such a kick lately for middle-grade reads about sisters. Why? I don’t know, I don’t have one… lol.
The cover on this book is WOWZA!
The relationship between the sisters in this book is excellently written and very sweet! The book itself is about family relationships, family values and being true to oneself. It’s about love between sisters, self-sacrifice and acceptance.
The author didn’t waste a single word writing this book. She had something to say and said it. No filler. Not only was she precise and pointed with her thoughts, she was graceful and lyrical in her voice and style. Plot flowed from one event to the next seamlessly and effortlessly. There were no huge surprises in this book, but it wasn’t about that, it was about the writing and the girl’s relationship.
There is no guessing what emotion was being felt or expressed, as the author’s style is rich with meaning and characterization, and reads easily. You read about grief, and community life, about relationships and how to be strong when facing horrific odds.
There’s a supernatural element to the story about the swamp where the community believes it is cursed and a creature of evil lurks below its surface. Luna, doesn’t believe this and is determined to find a way to save her sister.
Rumor is that the swamp is cursed and a creature lives below the waters, but Luna doesn’t believe it. Luna prefers to side with science to heal Willow, but this doesn’t work. She then turns to dealing with the swamp itself by attempting to drain it of the putrid water, and she fails. As she slowly accepts that magic may be involved after all, becomes a believer, then she succeeds. Gotta love fantasy stories! It is not the end results that is the important factor, but the journey to self-discovery that eventually leads to peace. This is not just for Luna but for her entire family.
The alternating between two perspectives, each building the story, developing character growth and enabling resolution at the end, is all done with brilliant insight.
With the theme being sisterly bonds, Luna and Willow’s bond grows almost parallel to Perdy and Gia’s. You see the hurt through Luna’s and Perdy’s eyes and what losing a sister does to each. Each girl is driven by guilt.
There are so many aspects to this story to enjoy: fairies, well-fleshed out characters, self-discovery, personal growth and understanding consequences. Love is the main factor, and what people will do for it.
I really enjoyed the way the author meshed the two stories together and how the backstories of the two sets of sisters are all mixed up together mirroring their hope for the future.
I absolutely loved this story!
I gave the book: