The interconnected tale of two girls, one human and the other a water sprite, determined to save their beloved sisters.
On Perigee, the night of the nearest moon, a sudden log jam creates a dam along the river. Luna’s community lives on the edges of the expanding swamp, building houses on ever higher stilts and believing that the evil spirit who caused the dam lurks under the water. All who taste the water sicken, dying in exactly three weeks. When water splashes into Luna’s sister’s mouth, Willow contracts the wasting sickness, and Luna breaks every one of her mother’s rules to save Willow. In alternating chapters, Perdita’s story is told: the adventurous sprite missed the window of time when the doors to a new world opened for the sprites to leave the world that humans have polluted. She fumes in misery beneath the dam. Her twin, Pelagia, had fashioned two lockets, one for each of them, to keep them close. The charmed locket, initially lost by Perdita, holds the key to both Perdita’s reunion and Luna’s saving her sister and her community. This lyrical story has a once-upon-a-time quality and, like the best of fairy tales, an evil to be overcome, a magic charm, and a lesson to be gleaned. Crowder’s language is sumptuous, written with an elegiac quality that suits the wistful longings of her protagonists.
A quiet story of perseverance and hope, exquisitely written with words and images that demand savoring. (Fantasy. 9-12)