When the Sea Is Rising Red

When the Sea Is Rising Red

Book - 2012
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"After seventeen-year-old Felicita's dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg's magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it."--From publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, ©2012.
ISBN: 9781250050687
Characteristics: 296 pages ;,22 cm.

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JCLChrisK May 31, 2013

Exquisite world building. So effectively foreign and atmospheric yet real and immersive, in fact, that I almost didn't notice the female protagonist was involved in a love triangle with two boys, one of which happened to be a vampire. It almost felt like the publisher told Hellisen the story had to have those ingredients--love triangle, one girl two boys, vampire--for them to consider her book, so she included them as necessary then made them as unobtrusive and unimportant to the overall story as possible. Much more significant are the mysterious, dark magics of Felicita's world, the social structure and class dynamics, and Felicita's pursuit of an independent identity. Just enough grunge and danger to give the whole affair weight without descending to drudgery and despair. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

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