cover image Sea Change

Sea Change

S.M. Wheeler. Tor, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3314-8

Wheeler’s stunning debut is a sophisticated fantasy whose lush descriptions, lyrical dialogue, and engaging structure are reminiscent of the very best fairy tales. Lilly, a nobleman’s daughter, had one true friend while growing up: Octavius, a gentle kraken who is closer to her than her emotionally distant parents ever could be. When Octavius is captured and sold to a circus, Lilly embarks on an epic journey to win back his freedom. Each step of the quest transforms and changes her, and as she encounters witches, bandits, and trolls, she reinvents herself. Unfailingly polite yet possessing an iron will, Lilly overcomes numerous trials, but the cost is great. With an almost poetic sensibility, Wheeler explores gender, sexuality, friendship, and love, offering up complex characters and emotional depth all laced with subtle magic. This profoundly beautiful evolution of fairy tale elements will have readers eagerly awaiting Wheeler’s next book. (June)