Author: Patricia A. McKillip.
Since the day her father’s fishing boat returned without him, Peri and her mother have mourned his loss. Her mother sinks into a deep depression and spends her days gazing out at the sea. Unable to control her anger and sadness any longer, Peri uses the small magic she knows to hex the sea. And suddenly into her drab life come the King’s sons—changelings with strange ties to the underwater kingdom—a young magician, and, finally, love. (Goodreads Summary)
Gorgeous. I love a good book-length fairy tale, especially when it doesn’t even try to hide that that’s what it is. The Changeling Sea is short and sweet, with vivid descriptions both of sea-side life, sea-magic, and the human heart. Like any good fairy tale, I think it’s good for both younger and older readers, as long as they’re old enough to appreciate the prose. Peri is a relatable, enjoyable protagonist and Kir is one of the only examples of ‘dark brooding LI’ that I have ever found acceptable. He is, after all, the sea’s son – I loved the way this was portrayed, the way the sea and its power was shown, and above all the ending. So many authors in writing something like this would have slipped up right at the end, pulled in by their own romance, and ruined it all at the last minute.
Patricia McKillip brought her tale to an end with grace and poise and a hint of the inexorability of the sea.
Sexual Content: “A man in green velvet said I was beautiful and kissed me.” “Carey! […] You watch yurself. Those fine men will migrate like geese in autumn, and you’ll be stuck here with a belly full of trouble.”/ The king took a lover from the sea shortly before he was married, although he didn’t know at the time that he had a child by her./ Man wants to go off with Peri – “She’s a good, innocent girl, and we’ve promised to pay you in gold and not in Perwinkles.” He explains he only wanted her to guide him to the serpent.
Violence: No graphic violence. There is a chained sea-dragon that was (SPOILER ALERT) stolen and transformed from a human child.