As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman — and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets.
When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands — a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining — she must weigh the cost of her dreams. In this vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking Thai-inspired fantasy adventure, Christina Soontornvat, author of the Newbery Honor Book A Wish in the Dark, explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. It's a tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.
"[Sai is] desperate to leave her 'lowlife' father and delay the traditional 13th birthday ceremony during which kids are given a lineal, a bracelet whose gold links represent each generation of ancestors — 'ones you were proud to claim.' Through Paiyoon’s growing guilt about his role in the empire’s expansion, Soontornvat deftly discusses themes of colonization and 'discovery,' complicating Sai’s desire to visit the fabled Great Southern Continent, rumored home to dragons.... [T]his high seas adventure deftly explores complex power dynamics and class hierarchies while maintaining a fast-paced clip." — Publishers Weekly
|10 - 13
|Apr 12, 2022