Her white, widowed father, Slate, having failed to remake the past, has abdicated; mixed-race Nix Song now captains the Temptation, Navigating through time to mapped destinations, real and otherwise, in this sequel to The Girl from Everywhere (2016).
Joined by Blake, a young, white cartographer who supports the Hawaiian monarchy, they depart 1884 Hawaii for modern New York. Realizing Nix and Kashmir (the Persian boy they rescued years earlier) are in love, Slate tells Nix that her grandmother, Joss, a Chinese Navigator and seer, has seen Kash will be lost at sea—but that past and future can sometimes be changed. In New York, a strange woman gives Nix a map of Ys, a mythical island city off the coast of Brittany. With the map, dated 1637, is a letter inviting her to visit Ys that asserts the past can indeed be changed. Buoyed by hope, the seekers sail to Ys, their quest to protect Kash, restore Nix’s mother (who died in childbirth), and save the Hawaiian monarchy. This genre-busting series—neither fantasy-romance nor historical fiction in disguise—offers an original take on a classic conundrum: if we can change the past, delete death and loss from life and love, what will it cost—and who pays? Nix’s narrative voice reveals a complicated protagonist who moves between trenchant pragmatism and poetic flights with fluidity. Although some plotlines are resolved, others are left, tantalizingly and frustratingly, hanging.
Concluding the duology, this ingeniously plotted time twister deepens the narrative, sharpens characterization, and raises the stakes, leaving readers high and dry, wanting more. (Fantasy. 14-18)