The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric was released yesterday. I received a review copy through the Amazon Vine program.
Book description from the publisher:
Teodora has always longed to visit Venice, and at last she has her chance. But strange and sinister things are afoot in the beautiful floating city. Teo is quickly subsumed into a secret world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets, statues speak, rats read, and librarians fluidly turn into cats. And where a book, The Key to the Secret City, leads Teo straight into the heart of the danger that threatens to destroy the city to which she feels she belongs. An ancient proverb seems to unite Teo with a Venetian boy, Renzo, and with the Traitor who has returned from the dark past to wreak revenge. . . . But who is the Undrowned Child destined to save Venice?My brief review of the book because I hate writing plot descriptions:
As I read this book, I realized just how little I really knew about Venice. I am a voracious reader but somehow my experiences have inadvertently kept me away from books set in this fascinating city. I admit I was first drawn to the book by the cover, then by the setting and finally by the mention of fantastical creatures, especially mermaids which are of high interest of late. The book didn't disappoint. The story is summarized elsewhere so I won't do that here. I started reading it without caring because the above mentioned features were enough of a draw for me. I enjoyed the main characters, Teo and Renzo, even more than I expected. I loved the setting. I enjoyed the history. I was entertained and I learned much during my reading.
One of the loveliest aspects of the book was an appendix with sections of "Places and Things in The Undrowned Child that you can still see in Venice" and "What is true, and what's made up?" It kept me from having to interrupt my reading to go look up so much for I always want to know more when I read books like this. Recommended for fantasy fans, especially if they like their fantasy mixed with historical fiction. Yes, it's aimed at younger readers, but adults with interests in the genre just may enjoy it more...