There are exactly 50 days until the release of CITY OF ISLANDS, and I've got a roundup of trade reviews to share. I am delighted that reviewers are loving Mara and her strange, magical city, and I very much hope that means the book will find its way into the hands of kids who want to read an adventure full of sea monsters, sneaky mages, a whole bunch of sailing songs, excitement, and danger.
"Wallace builds intrigue, layer by layer, page by page, until readers are glued to each word right up to the magnificent end. The captivating worldbuilding is supported by a sturdy third-person narrative that’s filled with people of various skin tones, personalities, and abilities who find a way to work together to right the wrongs of corruption. Inspiration and excitement from beginning to end."
"Magic in this gritty world is fueled by music, and Wallace brings it all to life with a sense of wonder. As Mara discovers the magic in herself, she faces betrayal, truths, and a journey that necessitates bravery. This is an exciting adventure with dazzling characters, magic, mystery, and self-discovery."
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Wallace creates an intriguing world. Mara's skills as a swimmer and diver as well as a magic user make her an unusual, appealing protagonist. The racial and ethnic diversity within this seagoing nation, as well as its powerful female leaders and acceptance of same-gender marriages, make for a welcome reboot of the standard sword-and-sorcery setting. An adventurous story that will appeal to middle school fantasy readers."
BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"This is a setting rich in mythology and secrets, and Wallace deftly balances world building with a twisting, surprising plot; the particulars of the specific types of magic and the backstories that supposedly led to them are especially intriguing."
You can preorder CITY OF ISLANDS now: