Thursday, July 26, 2018

"City of Islands"

Kali Wallace studied geology and earned a PhD in geophysics before she realized she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds more than she liked researching the real one. She is the author of the young adult novels Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees.

Wallace applied the Page 69 Test to her new middle grade fantasy novel, City of Islands, and reported the following:
From page 69:
For two years the master of the Winter Blade had been the man Mara hated most in the world. The man who killed Bindy.

Mara's chest ached as though she had dove too deep, too fast.
On page 69 of City of Islands, twelve-year-old Mara has been asked by her employer to perform a dangerous task: to sneak into a magical island fortress and spy on its master.

What her employer doesn't know is that same man is a special enemy of Mara's. He's the one who murdered her beloved guardian, leaving Mara alone in a world that does not treat orphaned children kindly.
If Mara could get into the Winter Blade, she might be able to find the spell books as proof of what the Muck had done. Nobody had wanted to listen to a bone-mage's little servant girl, but they would listen to the Lady of the Tides.

"Think before you agree, child," said Professor Kosta. "It could be very dangerous."

"But it could also be very rewarding," the Lady added. "For both of us."
City of Islands begins with Mara working for a wealthy woman and dreaming of a brighter future. But at this point, on this very page, her work becomes a personal mission. Suddenly, Mara is given a chance to not only earn a reward for herself, but to reveal the truth of what happened to her guardian. The danger does not concern her. She has a chance to expose a murderer, and she takes it.

As for whether it works out like that… Well, let's just say that there are quite a few twists and turns in store for Mara ahead. But the decision she makes on this page sets the course for the rest of the book, and once she's made it, she never looks back.
Visit Kali Wallace's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Trees.

--Marshal Zeringue