Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 144 pages
Release Date: April 14th, 2003
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I have read a number of books by McKillip in the past and enjoyed them. This book was no exception; the writing is beautiful and creates wonderful imagery, the story has a fairy tale feel to it. I absolutely loved reading it.
Peri’s father was lost to the sea last year and her mother is in a deep depression. Peri has taken to living in an old woman’s abandoned house so that she doesn’t have to face her mother’s depression every day. One day Peri is so overcome by anger at the sea that she throws hexes into it and curses it. This ends up setting off a string of momentousness events. Now Peri finds herself drawn into the sad story of two princes and the curse that has affected them both.
Like all of McKillip’s stories this one is beautifully written. There is excellent imagery and creative characters that are very engaging and make the story really come alive.
Peri is an intriguing character, she is a loner and angry at the sea. She sees things differently from those around her and this gives her an interesting perspective. The most intriguing character of the story was the magician that helps Peri deal with the two Princes. You can tell that the magician has a mysterious past and can do mysterious things. The two Princes are tough to relate to and kind of aloof because of the situations they are in, so they weren’t my favorite.
The plot has a very fairy tale feel to it. The way that there are curses on the two Princes and the way kingdom beneath the sea is tied to the kingdom Peri lives in is classic fairy tale.
The story ends well and a bit ambiguously. As expected in a fairy tale story like this, not all ends happily but not all is horribly lost either.
Overall I really enjoyed the beautiful writing and description and was drawn to the eerie fairy tale feel of the story. I wish that the Kingdom Underneath the Sea had been expanded on some, I also wish we had gotten more of a chance to delve into the magician’s past. Still given how slim this book is, it packs an engaging and magical story with surprising depth. I will definitely continue to read McKillip and look forward to reading other books that she has written.