Thursday, December 10, 2015

"A Daughter of No Nation"

A.M. Dellamonica's books include Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and Child of a Hidden Sea and its newly released sequel, A Daughter of No Nation.

She applied the Page 69 Test to the new novel and reported the following:
On page 69 of A Daughter of No Nation, Sophie Hansa is once again trying to unlock the mystery of a seafaring magical world she has stumbled upon while looking for her birth family. She is quite literally sitting down with a notebook and jotting down every single thing she has observed in the past day or so that she doesn't understand:
Verena had said half of the snow vulture's young didn't survive in the wild. That implied someone had done a study. Who did studies here?

People might just think it's true, about the vultures' survival rate. They could be making all sorts of unproved assertions.

And all of that was warm-up for the big questions. How was it that Stormwrackers could use magic? When did that develop? Did all magic really use writing and inscription or were there other forms? Did that mean there was no magic before the development of writing?
Sophie's insatiable curiosity is one of the primary things that drives her in this sequel to my 2014 book Child of a Hidden Sea.. She doesn't really believe that magic can just be; she wants to know how it works and what's behind it. That grasping after the truth, even when we cannot find it, is something I find cool about human beings. We want to know the unknowable. We can be awed by the splendor of the universe without surrendering the idea that we might one day glimpse its inner workings.

Curiosity is not a quality that is particularly valued on Stormwrack, though, and in fact it is regarded with suspicion and outright hostility. People who ask questions, the thinking goes, are probably spies. There are also people who think to themselves: Hey, that foreign girl is always sticking her nose into things that aren't her business… I wonder if I could use that further my own plans...

So although A Daughter of No Nation has chases and battles at sea, a pair of star-crossed teen lovers, monsters made of marine salt, a chase through a haunted ocean channel, a bit of romance and a visit to an entire island full of monks who do nothing but serve--okay, and occasionally resurrect--the dead, it's not surprising that this particular page finds my heroine pondering vulture survival rates and the nature of magical inscription. Chances are good that in any given chapter she'll either be wondering something or running for her life.... and maybe, occasionally, both at once.
Visit A.M. Dellamonica's website.

The Page 69 Test: Child of a Hidden Sea.

My Book, The Movie: Child of a Hidden Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue