Princess Malva-the Princetta of Galnicia-flees her kingdom and an arranged marriage, only to find herself betrayed by the very man who promised to help her. Orpheus is the son of a sea-captain-turned-pirate and is determined to make a name of his own commanding a ship in Galnicia's royal armada. But when their paths cross on the high seas, so do their destinies. Together the Princetta and Orpheus will travel to edges of the Known World and beyond . . . a journey from which only one of them will return alive. Shipwrecks, shark attacks, barbarians, and mysterious archipelagos await readers in this lavish fantasy-adventure written by one of France's most celebrated authors.
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Anne-Laure Bondoux has written many books for children and adults in her native France, including the Linus Hoppe books and The People of the Rats trilogy. A former educator and journalist, she lives in Paris with her two children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7-10–Malva chafes in her role as Princetta of Galnicia. Her head is filled with fantasies of faraway adventure rather than focused on her upcoming wedding. When her teacher, the Archont, gives her a way to escape, Malva flees from her parents and their rules. Boarding a boat, she and her maid learn of a perfect island, but discover that they have been betrayed, and the girls must fight to stay alive. This is only the start of the trials of the Princetta, who walks for weeks, lands in a harem, is rescued by ship again, and eventually finds the island that she has been seeking. Throughout the book, readers will have difficulty relating to the characters. Malva's insistence on looking for her island is tiresome and baffling, and her realization of the truth comes very late in the book. Because the writing holds readers at a distance, the adventures are not particularly compelling. By the end of the lengthy story, the series of encounters has become rather overwhelming. Tamora Pierce's books have the strong female protagonists, humor, and good pacing that this story lacks.–Tasha Saecker, Menasha Public Library, WI
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