cover image The Isles of the Gods (The Isles of the Gods #1)

The Isles of the Gods (The Isles of the Gods #1)

Amie Kaufman. Knopf, $19.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-47928-5

In this electrifying high-seas series launch from Kaufman (the Aurora Cycle), teenage Selly is eager for her fleet-owning father to return to port so she can end her apprenticeship sailing under Captain Rensa and become her dad’s first mate. When business delays him, the impatient teen schemes to hop a vessel headed his way, until Rensa’s ship unexpectedly sets sail, commandeered by the Kingdom of Alinor’s magically gifted Prince Leander. Citizens believe that Leander is off cementing allegiances with Alinor’s neighbors in case enemy nation Mellacea declares war; in truth, Leander plans to find the hidden Isles of the Gods to make a sacrifice meant to keep Mellacea at bay. He’s also on the run from Laskia, a ruthless pro-war Mellacean who—prior to Leander’s acquisition of Rensa’s vessel—tried to assassinate him by sinking his schooner. Selly, Leander, Laskia, and two other teens narrate this high-stakes game of cat and mouse; their illuminating first-person tellings skillfully interlock to maximize tension and forward momentum. Kaufman’s organically incorporated, intricate mythology never detracts from the action-packed plot or the complex relationships developing between the variously diverse characters. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (May)