Looking for a sweeping summer read? Magic, romance, and slumbering gods clash in this riveting romantasy about a seafaring girl and a playboy prince who band together in a precarious journey. From the New York Times bestselling author of the Aurora Cycle and the Illuminae Files.
Selly has salt water in her veins. So when her father leaves her high and dry in the port of Kirkpool, she has no intention of riding out the winter at home while he sails off to adventure. But any plans to follow him are dashed when a handsome stranger with tell-tale magician's marks on his arm commandeers her ship. He is Prince Leander of Alinor and he needs to cross the Crescent Sea without detection so he can complete a ritual on the sacred Isles of the Gods. Selly has no desire to escort a spoiled prince anywhere, and no time for his entitled demands or his good looks. But what starts as a leisure cruise will lead to acts of treason and sheer terror on the high seas, bringing two countries to the brink of war, two strangers closer than they ever thought possible and stirring two dangerous gods from centuries of slumber...
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.