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Princess of the wild sea
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Harbor Rose (Female), Cursed; lives on a remote island with her magical aunts; waits for a hero to save her
Good vs. evil
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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
At her christening, Princess Harbor Rose of Lapistyr is cursed by one of her aunts to prick her finger and bring about a mysterious enemy which "shall lay waste to the land" in this expansive "Sleeping Beauty" remix by Blakemore (the Frankie Sparks, Third-Grade Inventor series). A second aunt successfully alters the curse, which now foretells the rise of a hero to defeat the coming evil. Fearing for Harbor's safety, her family relocates to isolated Small Island, where she grows up hidden in exile. Upon turning 12, however, Harbor's curse activates, summoning 14-year-old Peter from contemporary Kansas. He becomes her friend over the course of several visits, the last of which coincides with the attack of the Frost, an army "who willed themselves to life in the barren icelands." Accompanied by Peter and his younger sister Anna, Harbor must unravel the secrets of her family's past and Small Island's true nature to defeat the Frost and save her loved ones from evil clutches. Familiar fairy tales serve as the foundation for this intriguing volume, which Blakemore imbues with refreshing wildness and originality, resulting in a continually surprising adventure. Major characters present as white. Ages 8--11. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Jan.)
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6--8--Blakemore returns with a hero quest that weaves old and new myths. Harbor Rose is a blond, green-eyed, 12-year-old princess who lives in a place called Small Island. She longs for companionship as she is the only child on the island, but her aunts and mother are intent on keeping her safe from the outside world. War is coming--at least according to a prophecy foretold about Harbor's life--and she must summon a hero to save her kingdom before it's too late. In this book, readers will appreciate the way that Blakemore combines and reimagines fairy tales and mythologies. The fast-moving plot and likable protagonist will engage readers. Harbor's story recalls the Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and a host of vampire and zombie tales besides. The author uses this many-fabled backdrop as the setting for Harbor's own coming-of-age journey in which she learns what it is to be a hero. VERDICT A clever adventure story recommended for readers who enjoy a twist on classic fantasies and the authors previous books.--Talea Anderson
Booklist Review
Harbor, a princess, lives with her mother within a small community of adults, including several magical aunts, on a mysteriously hidden island. At Harbor's christening, a reclusive aunt prophesied that before her thirteenth birthday, she would prick her skin, with deadly consequences for them all. Another aunt softened the curse, prophesying that a stranger from far away will save them. Harbor is 12 when she pricks her finger. Six-year-old Peter arrives from another dimension (modern-day Kansas), befriends her, and leaves. A few days later, 12-year-old Peter arrives but then returns home. Certain that he is the hero foretold, Harbor summons him when enemies attack. Fourteen-year-old Peter arrives with his sister, Anna. Together with Harbor, they try to outwit and defeat the zombielike creatures that threaten her community. Blakemore begins by creating the detailed account of Harbor's situation, which is idyllic in a fairy tale--like way. But cracks begin to appear in the beautiful façade, and gradually readers will realize that Harbor knows only parts of the truth. The harrowing journey that she, Peter, and Anna undertake tests their mettle, challenges their notions of heroism, and makes the identity of the narrative's hero crystal clear. An absorbing fantasy adventure with well-developed characters and more than a touch of magic.
Kirkus Review
A princess, a curse, and a pricked finger--but something is different this time. Harbor Rose, princess of the Lands of Lapistyr, was cursed at her christening by one of her aunts. To keep Harbor and her lands safe from the prophesied war and strife, she was whisked away to Small Island, where she lives with her mother and other magical aunts. Harbor spends her time receiving lessons from her aunts and the island's townsfolk as well as keeping a close eye on the beach for any items that might have washed up from The Somewhere Else. Then comes Harbor's 12th birthday: The curse comes to pass, and Peter, a boy from a strange land who doesn't think he's much of a hero, arrives. Suddenly, Harbor is the only one who can save her kingdom, her family, and more, as she draws upon the gifts from her aunts and uncovers secrets, some ancient and others much closer to home. Starting with the basic elements of "Sleeping Beauty," Harbor's story quickly diverges from the familiar classic, exploring what it means to be a hero, both in our world and in the land of fairy tales. Blakemore blends the fantastic and the mysterious into a fast-paced narrative that still leaves room for the characters to breathe and to wonder. Harbor and Peter are cued White. An imaginative adventure both familiar and new. (Fantasy. 9-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A curse will fall . . .
A hero will rise . . .

Princess Harbor Rose is cursed. She's lived her whole life hidden away on a remote island with her magical aunts, following all the rules for being a princess. Now it is only one more year until thirteenth birthday, when a hero will finally arrive to save her from her curse.

But as with any story, there are two sides . . . and the curse told of much more than a single princess's uncertain fate. It told of a dangerous foe rooted in powerful magic. It told of a terrible war that could destroy everything if a young hero didn't arrive in time. It told of a magic imbued with hope that could save everyone, but only if they believe.

With her beloved kingdom and island at grave risk, Harbor Rose has a choice: Should she wait for the hero, or take matters into her own hands?

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