Flowers for the Sea

Zin E. Rocklyn. Tordotcom, $13.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-80403-7
Rocklyn’s lyrical gothic fantasy debut considers how life can persist in a world of rot, death, and destruction. Iraxi and her community have survived at sea for 1,743 days, refugees of a flooded, highly stratified kingdom. Now Iraxi, who had been a commoner on land, is in the final days of a pregnancy, and many on the ark view her unborn child as a sign of hope. But Iraxi questions the morality and purpose of bringing life into such a disastrous environment: razorfangs circle in the water, the refugees scrape by on a dwindling supply of rosehip water and beans, and interpersonal conflict abounds. As Iraxi’s due date comes ever closer, a darker fear takes root: that her baby may be something other than human. Rocklyn conjures Iraxi’s precarious position in fluid, lovely prose, though the tight focus on her pregnancy causes the narrative to feel stagnant at times, as the ark lacks direction both literally and metaphorically, and the world that came before is only hinted at. Still, the constant threats of life on the water present just enough tension to keep this novella afloat. Agent: Roseanne Wells, the Jennifer De Chiara Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/24/2021
Release date: 10/19/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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