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The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip
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The Changeling Sea (1988)

by Patricia A. McKillip

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8092111,269 (4.13)54
  1. 20
    Among Others by Jo Walton (Herenya)
    Herenya: Both stories have a heroine dealing with grief and the sometimes-loneliness of being 15.
  2. 00
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (night_owl13)
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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was a lovely book. It has a little bit of Mary Sue-ness about it as the cleaner at the village inn somehow catches the eye of an old woman who teaches her some magic, then her solo attempts catch the eye of a prince, which leads to a magician and the king... But she's also got some good friends she works with at the inn, and a complicated relationship with her mother since her father was lost at sea. The love of the sea is strong throughout the book, but so is the fear and awe of such an overwhelming place/force. ( )
  silentq | Jul 21, 2015 |
Beautifully written, as is the mark of a McKillip book. It has that ethereal, dreamy quality that I have come to expect from her.

I love the way the characters show hidden turmoil and emotions. Everything is tied together. Peri and Kir are written so well.

3.5 stars rounded down because even though I loved the book, there was not enough resolution of the loves for me. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Peri has a troubled relationship with the sea. Though she lives on a small island that relies on it, her father was mysteriously swept away by it, the only remnants of his existence his fishing boat that washed ashore without him. Her mother now stands transfixed by the water, always staring out at the water with empty eyes no matter what time of day it is. In a fit of frustration she haphazardly hexes the sea, cursing its existence and demanding it's magic to unravel.

And the next day, everything would change for her and the fishing community she is a part of.

This is a book I probably would have never read had I not been reading books published in the year I was born this year, but I'm very glad I did. It's a wonderful story, despite the fact that it is so filled with traditional fantasy tropes and the plot is one that doesn't usually appeal to me. I found Peri's loneliness relatable, and though I've read numerous books where the sea feels like a character of its own, in The Changeling Sea it really has a life of its own.

There is something about a simple, well-written fairy tale that is unlike anything else in the realm of literature, and Patricia McKillip is obviously skilled at it. This is the 2nd book I've read by her and I've loved them both, and will definitely continue reading through her work in the future. ( )
  Ape | Aug 21, 2014 |
This is a gorgeous, bittersweet, perfect, completely unsatisfying story. It's a fairytale that feels real. All of those things at once? Yes.

I didn't like the other book by this author I've read nearly as much -- perhaps not at all, I can't remember. But this is lovely. It's a story about longing, really, longing and love. It spellbound me, and managed to capture something I love about the sea: its beauty, humans' fascination with it, its danger... Dar Williams' The Ocean comes to mind here, somewhat.

It's not really a story tied together by plot, but by emotion, and Kir's longing, Peri's love and hope, the king's sadness, it all got to me. The book is short, but I'll be thinking about it for a while. Another comparison that comes to mind is Susan Cooper's Seaward. ( )
  shanaqui | Nov 8, 2013 |
Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.

Sometimes people ask me to recommend a book and it usually goes a bit like this:

Hipster girl: Hey do you know which book I shoul--
Me: [b:The Changeling Sea|59|The Changeling Sea|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313430180s/59.jpg|2085180]!
~*~
Metalhead dude: Hey, I've been thinking about readi--
Me: [b:The Changeling Sea|59|The Changeling Sea|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313430180s/59.jpg|2085180]!
~*~
Mum: Any books you--
Me: [b:The Changeling Sea|59|The Changeling Sea|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313430180s/59.jpg|2085180]!
~*~
Some friend: Got any books yo--
Me: [b:The Changeling Sea|59|The Changeling Sea|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313430180s/59.jpg|2085180]!
Some friend. You always say that! I've already read it!
Me: READ IT AGAIN.

Anyone who's lived their whole life by the sea will tell you that it's hard to successfully write a story that will give you the sense of wonder and possibility it brings. [b:A Menina do Mar|6480073|A Menina do Mar|Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1249291141s/6480073.jpg|1811677] comes to mind, and though it's a children's book it's absolutely perfect, perhaps because I read it when I was a little girl and those books always have a special place in our hearts. [b:The Changeling Sea|59|The Changeling Sea|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313430180s/59.jpg|2085180] through what I can only assume to be some freaky magical powers [a:Patricia McKillip|25|Patricia A. McKillip|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1220752490p2/25.jpg] possesses, managed to be placed into that same corner of my heart even though I've read it as an adult. I guess that's the highest praise a book can get. ( )
  Isa_Lavinia | Sep 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
The story inside is small, but potent, like a well-crafted spell. It makes perfect sense, but it's fairy tale sense, not reasonable sense.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia A. McKillipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flerova, ElenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan,MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Jean Karl
First words
No one really knew where Peri lived the year after the sea took her father and cast his boat, shrouded in a tangle of fishing net, like an empty shell back onto the beach.
Quotations
Peri, working her mop desultorily, found herself daydreaming. Distant isles on the top of the world, past the glaciers and the icebergs, past the winter lands, past winter itself, gleamed like summer light in her head. Magical isles, where fruit was forever ripe and sweet, and the warm air smelled of roses. Lands deep in the sea, where entire cities were made of pearls, and men and women wore garments of fish scales that floated about them in soft, silvery clouds.
She felt him quiet against her. He turned slowly, shakily, on his knees to face her. He put his arms around her wearily, his hands twined in her hair, his chilled face against her face. He did not speak again; he held her until the tide roared around them, between them, forcing them to choose between land and sea, to go, or stay forever.
"Magic is like night, when you first encounter it."

"Night?" she said doubtfully. She skipped a beat with one oar and the Sea Urchin spun a half-circle.

"A vast black full of shapes ..." He trailed his fingers overboard and the Sea Urchin turned its bow toward the horizon again. "Slowly you learn to turn the dark into shapes, colors.... It's like a second dawn breaking over the world. You see something most people can't see and yet it seems as clear as the nose on your face. That there's nothing in the world that doesn't possess its share of magic. Even an empty shell, a lump of lead, an old dead leaf—you look at them and learn to see, and then to use, and after a while you can't remember ever seeing the world any other way."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141312629, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A floor scrubber and a magician try to help a prince return to his home beneath the sea and help his half brother, a human trapped in the body of a sea monster, return to the land.

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