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




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan
by Carrie Ryan
ChildrenBLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards
by Elizabeth Richards
ChildrenSALT by Maurice Gee
by Maurice Gee
ChildrenENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre
by Ann Aguirre