On a second voyage upon the ocean of chaos that spans time and space, Marigold “Marrill” Aesterwest faces evil wizards and a mad king—not to mention friendly, giant bugs and snails, a sideways island, and a worlds-destroying Iron Tide.
Astounded but doughty babysitter Remy in tow, Marrill rides the Pirate Stream that rises once again in a derelict Arizona parking lot to happy reunions aboard the privateer Enterprising Kraken with friends from The Map to Everywhere (2014). Driven by (what else?) a cryptic but ominous prophecy, the ensuing quest takes the intrepid crew to a remote archipelago where gravity is strange, through a huge whirlpool to a continually sinking vertical city, and then beyond to perpetually burning lands where schemes of the boundlessly ambitious King of Salt and Sand have come perilously close to fruition. The setting and the large supporting cast are of the “anything goes” sort, and again the authors have concocted both with an adroit mixture of humor and wonder. At the tale’s core, however, are a series of internal and external struggles with conflicting hearts’ desires, as both allies and adversaries close in on a fantastically dangerous wizardly device that is primed to grant a wish. There are also, just to complicate decisions and emotional states further, issues of trust, friendship, sacrifice, and oh yes, saving our world and all the rest.
A fiery climax and a hard choice set Marrill on course for further adventures on the Pirate Stream. Avast! (Fantasy. 10-13)