cover image Water Shaper

Water Shaper

Laura Williams McCaffrey, . . Clarion, $16 (218pp) ISBN 978-0-618-61489-9

In McCaffrey's debut fantasy, Alia Walking , her heroine had a mystical connection to trees; here, in another fast-paced tale, the heroine has a similar connection to water. Princess Margot lives with her father and his third wife in a landlocked castle in the Midlands. Unwanted by her father and feared by his subjects because of her long, dark hair and translucent skin (an indication of magic in her blood), 15-year-old Margot dreams of living by the sea. She holds in her possession a small volume that smells of salt, The Book of the Sea , which once belonged to her mother. But Margot cannot understand the secrets within its covers. When the visiting King Orrin of Mawr invites the princess to come and live in his seaside kingdom, Margot runs away with him. A romance blossoms and all seems perfect until they arrive in Mawr, where Margot senses the way the water's proximity influences the contents of her book. When Orrin discovers her secret book, he is outraged and locks her in her room. In Mawr, readers also meet Bird, the rebellious storyteller who despises the king because he forbids the telling of the old heroic ballads. While imprisoned, Margot discovers her gift of water shaping and practices it by day, and by night, Bird tells her stories. Readers will likely be caught up as Margot comes to terms with her magical powers and her mother's unfortunate secret. Ages 10-14. (May)