In the dark of night, raiders attack a ship sailing home to St. John del Mar.
Seventeen-year-old Reyna is no longer an apprentice cartographer but a royal del Mar explorer in her own right. After escaping from entranced pirates and swimming through sea monster–infested waters, Reyna sputters onto shore and meets a handsome, grieving prince. Capt. Levi, the second child of the recently deceased King of Lunes, offers aid, but the two start off on the wrong foot with mistrust, lies, and deception. Mysterious disappearances of beloved family members while at sea unite the royal families, and they agree upon a desperate and dangerous mission to the mysterious kingdom of Miramar. In this sequel to Isle of Blood and Stone (2018), Lucier creates a richly satisfying maritime world where maps are revered by kings and queens. The action-packed romance weaves together an assortment of dangerous sea creatures, magical sirens, underwater ghosts, and human armies sacrificed to appease a dying monarch. There’s more heart-pounding action in Reyna’s story, with a superbly developed heroine, charming secondary characters, and playful dialogue. However, after traversing dangerous waters, the plot careens through the climax somewhat insipidly, and romantic developments aboard ship can feel timeworn. Levi is presumed white, and Reyna is brown-haired and golden-skinned.
A delightful romantic adventure flavored with ancient legends and salty ocean lore. (map) (Fantasy. 12-18)