Quirk and charm give way to a serious exploration of the dangers of complacency in this delightful, thought-provoking Orwellian fantasy from Klune (Heartsong). Caseworker Linus Baker of the Department in Charge of Magical Youths (DICOMY) believes he is doing right by the preternaturally gifted children placed in DICOMY-sanctioned orphanages. But Linus begins to question DICOMY’s methods when the ominous Extremely Upper Management tasks Linus with evaluating the isolated Marsyas Island Orphanage and reporting not only on the island’s extraordinary children—among them a female gnome, a blob of uncertain species who wants to be a bellhop, and a shy teenage boy who turns into a small dog when startled—but also on the orphanage master, Arthur Parnassus. The bonds Linus forms with the children and the romantic connection he feels for Arthur set Linus on a path toward redemption for the unwitting harm he caused as a cog in an uncaring bureaucratic machine. By turns zany and heartfelt, this tale of found family is hopeful to its core. Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity. Agent: Diedre Knight, The Knight Agency (March)
A NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER!
A 2021 Alex Award winner!
The 2021 RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner!
An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020"
One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies”
"I loved it. It is like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket. Simply perfect." V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
"It will renew your faith in humanity.” Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of the Shannara series
“It’s a witty, wholesome fantasy that’s likely to cause heart-swelling.” The Washington Post
“The House in The Cerulean Sea is a modern fairy tale about learning your true nature and what you love and will protect. It's a beautiful book.” Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in. Touching, tender, and truly delightful, The House in the Cerulean Sea is an utterly absorbing story of tolerance, found family, and defeating bureaucracy.”Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless
“Sweet, comforting, and kind, this book is very close to perfect. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a work of classic children's literature written for adults and children alike, with the perspective and delicacy of the modern day. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Every Heart a Doorway
“Quirk and charm give way to a serious exploration of the dangers of complacency in this delightful, thought-provoking Orwellian fantasy from Klune.... This tale of found family is hopeful to its core. Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Lambda Literary Award-winning author Klune (The Art of Breathing, 2019, etc.) has a knack for creating endearing characters, and readers will grow to love Arthur and the orphans alongside Linus... fans of quirky fantasy will eat it up. A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy." Kirkus
“This is a sweet narrative about the value of asking questions and the benefits of giving people (especially children) a chance to be safe, protected, and themselves, regardless of what assumptions one might glean from, say, reading their case file.” Booklist
“This inclusive fantasy is quite possibly the greatest feel-good story ever to involve the Antichrist.... The House in the Cerulean Sea will delight fans of Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series and any reader looking for a burst of humor and hope.” Shelf Awareness
“A beautiful little gem of both irony and, yes, kindness.” Fantasy & Science Fiction
“TJ Klune is a master storyteller.” The Mary Sue
"A delightful tale about chosen families, and how to celebrate differences." Library Journal
“If ever there was an author to watch out for, [Klune] is definitely that author.” Culturess Daily
Hardworking caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth Linus Baker is responsible for periodic reviews of orphanages for magical children. His latest assignment: a month-long evaluation of the remote Marsyas Island Orphanage. His briefing materials are sketchy, revealing that one of the children is Satan's son, while others don't seem to be human. As Linus gets to know the six children and their caretakers, he witnesses the strong bonds between them and the unique community they've created. He even begins to feel a part of it, but his time is limited and he has a job to do. VERDICT A delightful tale about chosen families, and how to celebrate differences. Klune's (The Extraordinaries) quirky tone and appealing cast will remind readers of both the "Miss Peregrine" and "Mysterious Benedict Society" series.—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.
A tightly wound caseworker is pushed out of his comfort zone when he's sent to observe a remote orphanage for magical children.
Linus Baker loves rules, which makes him perfectly suited for his job as a midlevel bureaucrat working for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, where he investigates orphanages for children who can do things like make objects float, who have tails or feathers, and even those who are young witches. Linus clings to the notion that his job is about saving children from cruel or dangerous homes, but really he's a cog in a government machine that treats magical children as second-class citizens. When Extremely Upper Management sends for Linus, he learns that his next assignment is a mission to an island orphanage for especially dangerous kids. He is to stay on the island for a month and write reports for Extremely Upper Management, which warns him to be especially meticulous in his observations. When he reaches the island, he meets extraordinary kids like Talia the gnome, Theodore the wyvern, and Chauncey, an amorphous blob whose parentage is unknown. The proprietor of the orphanage is a strange but charming man named Arthur, who makes it clear to Linus that he will do anything in his power to give his charges a loving home on the island. As Linus spends more time with Arthur and the kids, he starts to question a world that would shun them for being different, and he even develops romantic feelings for Arthur. Lambda Literary Award-winning author Klune (The Art of Breathing, 2019, etc.) has a knack for creating endearing characters, and readers will grow to love Arthur and the orphans alongside Linus. Linus himself is a lovable protagonist despite his prickliness, and Klune aptly handles his evolving feelings and morals. The prose is a touch wooden in places, but fans of quirky fantasy will eat it up.
A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy.