Mistress of the Storm

M.L. Welsh. Random/Fickling, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-75244-2
Originally published in the U.K. and first in a planned quartet, Welsh's debut sweeps readers into the harbor town of Wellow, a place of magic, riddles, and mysteries. Verity Gallant is an unpopular and awkward 12-year-old girl who prefers to hide away in the library. That's where she encounters a stranger who gives her an ancient red book about the Keeper of the Wind, a witch rumored to be able to control the weather. This simple act changes Verity's life, leading to new friends and the discovery that she has amazing instincts for sailing. It also leads her deep into the history of her town—a tale of smuggling and dark secrets tied to Verity's family—even as old evils rise again. Welsh's prose is lovely, her characters are well-drawn, and the atmosphere of the town is palpable. In creating a place in the world where a story read aloud can become true, Welsh offers a benediction of sorts to readers, that "every child who is alone or out of place will find the friends they need, and the love they deserve." Ages 8–12. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 154 pages - 978-0-375-89917-1
Library Binding - 318 pages - 978-0-385-75245-9
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