A sweet, magical adventure with Isabelle, a thirteen year old island dweller who decides she needs to investigate the disappearance of her class mate. Aimed at 10 – 14 year olds, I wouldn’t recommend it for adults unless you just really want a super easy read! It’s a lovely adventure though and would be perfect for younger readers.
Isabelle lives with her father, a cartographer, on one part of an island, Joya. The villagers are living under a repressive governor who has banned them from going to the rest of the island or leaving via the sea. A series of mysterious events lead the govenor to organise a search party to go into the Forbidden Territories. Isabelle (disguised as a boy obviously!) manages to get in the search party as their navigator, and to map their progress, using the cartography skills taught to her by her father.
It was one of the first things Da taught me. Stars are the earliest maps, the most precise. They can tell you where you are better than a compass – after all, they have a bird’s-eye view. If you can learn to read the stars you’ll never be lost.
Isabelle is a lover of stories, and believes the myths about the island’s origins, involving a girl warrior and a fire demon, are literally true. Are they? Maybe we shall see!
There are demon dogs, mysteries, friendships, an extremely mild love story, peril, challenged gender expectations, love, dictatorships, and maps! It’s also got a gorgeous cover.
I feel like I’ve read a lot of books set on islands recently! Looking back though, it really is just this one and The Unseen. Weird!?