STARRED REVIEW
August 06, 2018

A magical girl’s harrowing journey into the unknown

By Kali Wallace

Kali Wallace’s City of Islands transports readers to a world of ancient rock cities where the ocean-dwelling founders once harnessed magic that controlled earth and stone, sky and sea.

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Kali Wallace’s City of Islands transports readers to a world of ancient rock cities where the ocean-dwelling founders once harnessed magic that controlled earth and stone, sky and sea.

Twice orphaned Mara longs to be part of that magic. She dives to the depths of the ocean seeking treasure for a mage known as the Lady of the Tides.

One day while diving, Mara sings an old spell song and hears bones calling back to her. She finds skeletons of rare hybrid creatures suspended deep below the ocean surface. When she presents these prized remains to the Lady of the Tides, the mage challenges her with a dangerous but alluring opportunity. Mara must travel to a place called Winter Blade in order to discover the secrets of the Lord of the Muck, the powerful mage inhabiting the treacherous isle. If Mara succeeds, she’ll become the Lady’s apprentice and fulfill her dream to learn magic.

As Mara struggles through the dark depths of the tunnels beneath Winter Blade, she’s captured by the evil Muck. She must escape the mage’s dungeon and save herself and her friends, Izzy and Fish Hook, from being tortured and killed. But with seas full of mages, pirates and sea serpents, how will the seemingly ordinary Mara succeed?

While struggling to free herself and her friends, Mara is forced to question her past: How did her parents really die? Was her stepmother the loving caretaker she seemed?

Wallace uses fantastical creatures, mystical spell songs and lyrical prose to spin a complex tale that doesn’t disappoint. Young readers will long for more stories like this spellbinding saga of the sea.

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City of Islands

City of Islands

By Kali Wallace
Katherine Tegen
ISBN 9780062499813

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