The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst's beloved world of Renthia.
Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island's fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.
To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen's soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.
They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.
Oh, wow, this book was just so amazing! I loved reading it so much! I just devoured it! It is set in the same world, but it was in a different country, as well as a pretty much brand new cast of characters! Everything was just so fantastic to read!
The whole system that Belene uses is different that the one in the previous books, with teachers and such. There's the testing to become an heir on the island, before which is a very rock and hard place choice. Basically, not the system you'd want to be a part of. But they don't have a choice, because Belene is different from the other countries.
I really enjoyed Mayara, she was a fantastic character, she just wanted to have her quiet life with her artist love. But her power is discovered and then we get to have a few plot lines, which start to weave together as the book goes on, and were so great to read!
With the events of this book, the rules that were governing them change. Because they fight for that change. There are some heartbreaks, and it's a very unexpected ending, but it's one that I enjoyed reading immensely!
This book was so great, I loved reading it, and I would love to read more!
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Series: The Queens of Renthia #4
Read: December 22nd, 2018
Reason Why: Love her writing and this series, and it's a Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2018 Book and a WoW Book!
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Expected Publication: March 19th 2019