The natural magic of the classic Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia
Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the fearless oyster divers of Belene, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.
To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.
They vary in age and social status, but to many, they are heroes who will aid the country or witches who will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to the same terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits. There, they are left without food, water, shelter, or any tools, except their own instincts and magic. Those who survive the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if Mayara wins or loses, she knows the life she had dreamed of is now gone forever.