Fifteen-year-old Alina has long wanted to serve on the Isle of Weaving, where generations of women have woven the fate of the world into a tapestry. One impulsive act, though, leads Alina to distant Kazia, where she unexpectedly becomes the caretaker of 10-year-old Ranjan, the king’s supercilious heir, who, Alina has forseen, will be responsible for the deaths of thousands if he lives. As she comes to know the child, though, she gains insight into the interconnectedness of lives and the power of compassion to change the future. This posthumously published fantasy title is touched with political intrigue, romance, and provocative questions about destiny and free will. The characters and the vaguely medieval settings are descriptively detailed, and readers will enjoy the story’s intriguing cultures and worlds. The dense prose requires patience, but dedicated readers will find Alina an engaging, courageous protagonist who discovers self-determination and the ability that each individual has to make a difference. Grades 8-11. --Shelle Rosenfeld
About the Author
Linda Smith has previously published three novels with Coteau: The Minstrel's Daughter, Talisa's Song, and The Weathermage. Together, these titles make up the "Tales of Three Lands" trilogy, a series that acted as a prequel to Smith's previous "The Freyan Trilogy", published by Thistledown Press. She also published several children's pictures books, and poetry and short fiction in literary periodicals.