WHEN THE SEA IS RISING RED by Cat Hellisen

WHEN THE SEA IS RISING RED

Age Range: 13 - 16

KIRKUS REVIEW

The scion of a fading magical aristocracy flees an arranged marriage and finds herself caught in a rebellion against her own people.

Felicita is made of stronger stuff than her friend Ilven, who responded to her own betrothal by hurling herself off a rocky cliff. Felicita, instead, flees into the slums disguised as a half-caste prostitute. She's high-Lammer, one of the much-loathed colonizing overlords of Pelimburg, but she washes dishes for pennies and tries not to starve among the olive-skinned Hobs. She lives on the mercy of Dash, a Hob—squatter? landlord? criminal? charismatic rebel?—who draws Felicita into his anti-Lammer schemes. Dash plans no mere armed revolt, but a manipulation of wild magic older than the entire Lammer occupation. A seeming love triangle among Felicita, Dash and the well-to-do vampire Jannik is more complicated than the usual; Felicita is drawn to Dash but still mourns the lost Ilven, and Jannik courts Felicita while pining after Dash. There's some clumsy stereotyping in the worldbuilding: Jannik's people are big-nosed, discriminated-against, exotic, exceedingly wealthy, outsider merchants who use their great wealth to exploit the poor and manipulate the aristocracy; sound familiar? Nonetheless, the worldbuilding intrigues, and the open-ended conclusion begs a sequel.

Moody, in the spirit of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2009), but with a much more likable heroine. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-374-36475-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2012




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