FICTION

Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story

256p. Clarion. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328466884.
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Gr 4–7—Cleverly pulling together Milford's earlier works, this prequel to The Greenglass House is the origin story of the house itself, and gives fans more insight into the world of Nagspeake. Twelve-year-old Lucy Bluecrowne grew up aboard the Left Handed Fate, living the life of a privateer's daughter. After a serious injury, her father has decided Lucy should live ashore with her stepmother, the beautiful Lady Xiaoming, and her stepbrother, Laio. Her father has even built a house for them atop the highest hill in Nagspeake. Lucy is furious; the sea is in her blood. On the suggestion of Laio, the pair goes to the harbor to see about procuring a barky to fix up to sail on the river. It is no accident that the two children run into roamer Foulk Trigemine and conflagrationeer Ignis Blister. Roamers use science to travel through time and conflagrationeers control fire—it just so happens that Laio has a talent with fireworks, and this is not the first time Foulk has "seen" Lucy. Both Foulk and Ignis are on missions involving the Bluecrowne family. This somewhat complicated amalgamation of story lines is resplendent with time travel, Chinese folklore, nautical explanations, and the history of Nagspeake.
VERDICT This is a sophisticated tale filled with masterful world building, time travel, science, and nautical life. Ideal for confident readers looking for a challenge.

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