Between the howling of the wind, the pounding of the rain on the roof, and the tumult of the ocean, Mari Prothero knew there was no point in listening for anything else. The damp, chill wind found a hundred little cracks and chinks to whistle through, and only near the fire was it at all warm. At least the wind wasn’t sending the smoke down the chimney instead of up.
This was the sort of day that the wives and daughters of fishermen dreaded. It had begun with a red sky, always a bad sign, but by the time the sun was up to give the warning of rough weather to come, Mari’s father Daffyd Prothero was already gone fishing. And not out in his little river coracle for salmon, no. Out in his bigger boat—still a coracle—out on the wide ocean, for herring. Whether meant for the river or the ocean, coracles were still unchancy boats, being little more than great round dishes made of wood and hide or canvas. Granted, the ocean coracles had sails, but still! You had to be a mad sailor as well as a fine one to take one on the ocean in the teeth of a storm.
Oh, thought Mari Prothero, her heart full of anxiety, and my da is both . . .
She bent over the fire and stirred the coals, adding a little more sea-coal and a little more driftwood on top. Flames sprang up, blue and gold and green, colored by the salts in the wood and the coals.
By midmorning the threatening sky had made good on its promises, and there was a full-throated storm churning the ocean. The wind howled about the cottage walls on the hill above the beach and wailed about the chimney.
And had Daffyd Prothero come scudding in ahead of the storm? Of course not. Because he’s mad. Mari’d had to latch the shutters tight on the sea-ward side, and even so, wind-driven driblets of rain crept over the sills whenever the rain drove hard against the windows. The drafty air inside smelled of the ocean and the storm, and not the lovely hot pie and bread she had baking.
She sat down again and picked up her work. She had her shawl wrapped tight about her, her flannel skirt and petticoat tucked in around her legs, so she was warm enough. Tucked into her chair at the hearth, if her da hadn’t been at sea, she’d have been content enough. Such a storm! The fire burned bright, and the lantern was near, and even so it was hard to see to mend the net in her hands. Not that her hands didn’t already know the work so well she probably could do it in the dark. She could knit in the dark, and had most of the winter, for there were always socks to knit as well as nets to mend. But net-mending required concentration and knitting didn’t, and she was trying not to think about her da off on the unforgiving sea.
By now, oh surely, even the salmon fishers were in off the river. But not her da; no, she knew him. He’d be out in the storm, stubborn as any donkey, pulling in fish where no other man could. And even when he had as much as the boat could carry, he still wouldn’t come home. First he’d be off to Criccieth to sell half of it, and on a day like today, he’d get the best prices, there being no one else fool enough to be on the water. Only then would he come home to sell in Clogwyn, perhaps to trade a few for a salmon or maybe a treat from the baker. Everyone wanted Daffyd Prothero’s herring; they were always the fattest, the tastiest.
From HOME FROM THE SEA. Copyright © 2012 by Mercedes Lackey. All rights reserved. Published by arrangement with DAW Books.
Called a “master magician” by Midwest Book Review, Mercedes Lackey is one of our most beloved contemporary fantasists. And few of her works have proven her mastery of the genre like the Elemental Masters series, hailed as “a true frolic into fantasy” by Fantasy Bookspot. Now Lackey returns to the series with its strongest entry yet in Home From the Sea, an unforgettable voyage upon the shifting tides of fate, love and magic.
Her fishing village on the coast of Wales may be small, but it’s the only world Mari Prothero has known. For years her fisherman father Daffyd has taken his boat out on the rough seas, returning with a bountiful catch every time—for Daffyd is a Water mage, a station Mari will one day inherit. An arranged marriage with an approprite stranger is simply part of the deal.
But it’s a deal in which Mari wants no part. She is a fledgling Water Master, with a nature as rebellious as the sea. However, little does she know of the truth behind the marriage pact, the truth that preserves her magical heritage: She has the blood of the Selkies, beings who can shift from seal to human, in her veins. And to preserve her Mastery, she must bond with one who is full-blooded in his magic....
Hardcover Book : 320 pages
Publisher: Daw Books, Inc. ( June 05, 2012 )
Item #: 13-564457
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 14.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
The book was all right but just did not really click for me and I love Mercedes Lackey as an author. Its an easy read, maybe it is just me can't put my finger on the reason.
Reviewer: Alex P