A beautiful tale about a girl who's lost her world and a changeling boy who finds his own. Perfect for any McKillip fan, or anyone who has a tendency to become mesmerized by the Sea.
Up An enchanting fantasy that is tinged with realism and romance, set in an ordinary, pre-industrial fishing village, with a heroine seen by herself and everyone else as even less than ordinaryan unkempt and uncared for child turning woman in spite of herself. Peri's fifteenth year has been a difficult one. First her fisherman father was lost at sea, then her mother became so haunted by the loss that she stopped caring for and communicating with Peri, and finally even the old woman whom Peri relied on for comfort disappeared. Peri spends her days scrubbing floors at the local inn and trying to hex the sea for causing her losses. When the King and his retinue come to the island, unhappy Prince Kir comes to Peri's lonely beach and begs her help in delivering his message to the sea. Strange things begin happening in the sea, including the appearance of a huge sea dragon held captive by a golden chain, and the villagers ask a magician for help. With Peri's help, he unravels the tangle of events and results that began more than 17 years ago, when the king loved a sea-woman but married a human queen. Peri's coming of age and coming to terms with herself and her surroundings are an important part of the story. Lyo, the magician, is a human sort of magician, wise but skeptical, powerful but also vulnerable. What begins with isolated and occasionally jarring events and appearances gradually enfolds the village and the story in a fog of mystery and magic that clears only when the situation is resolved via Lyo's wisdom and Peri's love. Rewarding and engaging.
A wonderful fairytale for adults. Beautiful language, a little gem!
I have read a number of books by McKillip in the past and enjoyed them. This book was no exception; the writing is beautiful and creates wonderful imagery, the story has a fairy tale feel to it. I absolutely loved reading it.
Peri's father was lost to the sea last year and her mother is in a deep depression. Peri has taken to living in an old woman's abandoned house so that she doesn't have to face her mother's depression every day. One day Peri is so overcome by anger at the sea that she throws hexes into it and curses it. This ends up setting off a string of momentousness events. Now Peri finds herself drawn into the sad story of two princes and the curse that has affected them both.
Like all of McKillip's stories this one is beautifully written. There is excellent imagery and creative characters that are very engaging and make the story really come alive.
Peri is an intriguing character, she is a loner and angry at the sea. She sees things differently from those around her and this gives her an interesting perspective. The most intriguing character of the story was the magician that helps Peri deal with the two Princes. You can tell that the magician has a mysterious past and can do mysterious things. The two Princes are tough to relate to and kind of aloof because of the situations they are in, so they weren't my favorite.
The plot has a very fairy tale feel to it. The way that there are curses on the two Princes and the way kingdom beneath the sea is tied to the kingdom Peri lives in is classic fairy tale.
The story ends well and a bit ambiguously. As expected in a fairy tale story like this, not all ends happily but not all is horribly lost either.
Overall I really enjoyed the beautiful writing and description and was drawn to the eerie fairy tale feel of the story. I wish that the Kingdom Underneath the Sea had been expanded on some, I also wish we had gotten more of a chance to delve into the magician's past. Still given how slim this book is, it packs an engaging and magical story with surprising depth. I will definitely continue to read McKillip and look forward to reading other books that she has written.
This is a sweet lyrical little fantasy and I am glad to have discovered it! Not only does it have all the great elements of fanatsy, sea dragons,kings, bittersweet romance but the writing is infused with a cozy sensibility that is interestingly reassuring! Really enjoyed this and will seek out her other stories!