A dark and riveting middle grade fantasy from the critically acclaimed Kali Wallace about an archipelago of magical islands and one girl’s dangerous discovery on the ocean floor. Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kate Milford.
In a foggy archipelago called the City of Islands, twelve-year-old Mara has always been fascinated by the magic that drifts on the air as songs. But as a servant for the powerful Lady of the Tides, Mara must earn her keep by searching for magical treasures deep in the murky ocean.
Then Mara finds the skeletons of strange hybrid creatures that haven’t existed in the city for centuries—all humming with a powerful spell-song. Convinced her discovery will earn her the opportunity to study magic, Mara shares them with the Lady. But instead of a reward, the Lady gives Mara a new challenge: to sneak into the island fortress, the Winter Blade.
Now Mara must dive deeper than ever before to survive her mission. The chilling truths that Mara uncovers along the way, about her past as well as about the secrets of her beloved city, are more dangerous—and magical—than she ever imagined.
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Kali Wallace is the author of two novels for teens and many short stories. She studied geology for years but now devotes her time to writing. She lives in Southern California. You can find her at www.kaliwallace.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Kali Wallace creates a stunning and unusual world in this fantasy that is at once bound up in myth and legend and grounded in the gritty reality of fish markets and hardscrabble village life. Mara is a brave, determined, and ultimately thoughtful heroine who both yearns for and fears magic, and is willing to ask difficult questions about the responsibilities that come with power. The people that she cares about – loyal Fish Hook, caring Izzy, even the stately and distant Lady of the Tides – are fully drawn characters, some with their own surprisingly motivations. Underlying each of Mara’s discoveries is the yearning for family and grief for the loss of her parents and Bindy, the bone mage who took her in as a child. In uncovering secrets about the long-gone founders of the City of Islands, she also uncovers parts of her own past she might have preferred to stay hidden, and must come to understand a new definition of family.
Kali Wallace has written another stunner of a book. You will fall in love with Mara, the fierce 12-year-old protaganoist of CITY OF ISLANDS. This wonderful MG book has everything. Brave girls. Strong girls. Secrets. Adventures. Magic. The sea. It is perfection.
City of Islands is pure magic. Wallace has created a world that begs to be explored and Mara, our fierce young protagonist, has a heart that is so pure and wanting, I definitely ached for her. She is a master diver and secures relics from the sea, but the way her talent is manipulated throughout the tale is an excellent exploration of current event topics like the true cost of child labor, abuse and neglect. Her compelling fantasy illustrates how adults can be the horrible monsters in our very real world. And yet there is hope and music and song—a deeper meaning and connection to the world—and this is the beauty of Wallace’s debut middle grade novel. In the literal underneath—this magical sea underworld Wallace creates—are the beautiful relics, the gems, the messages from those who came before. They are art and strength, magic and belonging. Mara finds her home within a home all while the reader discovers the secrets of the City of Islands because of one girl who dared to be brave. I could not put this story down!! Highly recommend!