Sai pretends to be from a wealthy family in order to get an apprenticeship with a mapmaker. She hides that her father is a criminal, and uses her skills as a forger to help the mapmaker copy maps and documents. When the mapmaker goes on a sea voyage to explore new regions of the world, Sai is eager to leave her past behind and start a new life. There are tales of dragons and dangerous seas in the South, but the riches and rewards could be immense.
I loved this story! It’s so exciting as they travel further and further from Sai’s home, and the people on board the ship begin to divide into groups with very different goals. Both the adventure and the emotional journey have a lot of tension and suspense. There are so many great twists in the plot!
In the beginning of the book, we aren’t quite sure if dragons are real in this world, or if they are just a legend. Some people Sai meets believe in dragons, but no one has ever seen one except old sailors who were probably hallucinating. It’s such a mystery! Will there be dragons in the Southern seas? Or is it all just a silly fable?
Sai has such amazing character development. By the end of the story, she is making completely different decisions than at the beginning. She develops close relationships with people she trusts, and she begins to realize what is truly important and worth fighting for in life. I love her complex personality!
I loved the thoughtful writing style! It’s concise and powerful, showing the reader the emotional struggles that are boiling under the surface of every scene.
There are many deep themes in this book. In the beginning, Sai’s world seems pretty simple, but as she learns more about the history of her country, Sai realizes that there are far-reaching consequences for every action. She learns about trust, shame and guilt, loyalty, betrayal, and the value of truth.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.