Book review of The Changeling Sea

The changeling sea is a fantasy novel for juvenile readers by Patricia McKillip. It is a slender book, but one written with lush and evocative prose that is as beautiful as it is simple. It is a fable about a changeling whose heart is tied to the sea. It is a book about yearning for something that no longer exists.

When Peri completes her hexes and casts them into the water, she includes an offering from the prince. To her surprise, her magic succeeds beyond expectations, disrupting the sea queen’s magic. A chained sea dragon appears, the wandering magician Lyo arrives in the village in response, and Kir’s sea-dreams grow even more tortured.

Peri’s efforts to help Kir eventually lead to her undertaking a strange journey into the depths, uncovering a tragic secret from the king’s past and the true identity of the sea dragon, and a dawning realization of her own power.

The sea drowned Peri’s father and even took away her mother through depression. Peri respected and saw an old wise woman as a caring figure gets taken away by the sea or when she suddenly disappears, she decides to hurt the sea or avenge the deaths of her loved ones. She decides to draw three hexes to curse the sea and somehow, her magic works beyond her expectations.
Peri was a hardworking young girl who worked at the inn, mopped floors, cleaned tables. After the death of her father, she could not care less about her appearance, she always looked untidy, her hair undone/unwashed. Her clothes were too tight or too loose, torn and not in a good shape. The only thing she really cared about was her revenge on the sea.

One night, she witnesses a man on a dark horse and the next afternoon realizes that it is none other than prince Kir. He was acquainted with the old woman. He too, notices Peri that night. The next day when he arrives at the sea, he asks her about the old woman and she is fascinated that he knows the old woman. He wants to visit the old woman as he was hoping for the wise woman’s aid in curing his own haunting obsession with the sea.

Kir has deep troubles of his own, also connected to the watery depths, and hopes that Peri can help him make his peace with the ocean that haunts his every waking moment. When Peri finishes her hexes and throws them deep into the great water, she also includes an offering from Kir hoping it would be of help to him.

A great sea dragon starts to appear amongst the fishermen’s boats on the sea, with an impossibly large gold chain around its neck. Then, a magician comes to town, promising that he will be able to remove the chain and give the gold to the villagers – for a price. And most importantly, Kir’s dreams of the sea grow more fevered and frantic, as his own unknown, hidden past catches up to him. And it is all up to Peri to set everything back to rights.

I would recommend this book to those who have found their new interest in the genre fantasy and all in all it is a book which captures the attention of its readers from the beginning. I rate this book a 8.1/10.

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