Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Review: The Tide Knot

The Tide Knot is the second volume in Helen Dunmore’s Ingo trilogy. The first volume, Ingo, was one of my favorites of 2005 for its original story and beautiful prose. The Tide Knot is more than a worthy successor as Dunmore complicates the plot and leaves tantalizing threads to follow in the final forthcoming volume.

Sapphire and Connor are learning to cope since the disappearance of their father, Matthew Trewhella, into the sea. Mum has moved the kids from their cottage on the cove to the bigger town of St. Pirans. Mum and Connor are doing especially well in their new environment, but Sapphire is still drawn to the sea and the world of the Mer. In fact, she is divided between the two worlds as Granny Crane, an elderly woman knowledgeable in the ways of the Earth, tells her:

  • ‘But I never knew any with the Mer blood and the human divided so equal as it is in you. Half and half you are. It must be the way the inheritance has come down to you. It weakens in one generation, and grows strong in the next.’

And Sapphire, this time, is being called to the sea for a purpose. Some of the Mer are restless and are ready to take revenge against the humans for what they have done to the world of the seas. The magical Tide Knot is destroyed and St. Pirans flooded. Sapphire has to work with the Mer to restore the tides and save her town and family. It’s a nail-biting race to the finish as Sapphire works with Faro, her brother Connor, the Keeper of the Tide Knot, Saldowr, whales, dolphins, and sharks to save not only the Earth, but also the Seas.

Dunmore leaves much to look forward to in the last volume of the trilogy. Over the course of The Tide Knot, Sapphy learns some of the truth of her father’s disappearance and, most importantly, that she has a baby brother under the seas. Faro and Connor, who were previously quite competitive, grow closer while working to restore the tides. And, Connor, who has struggled successfully to remain part of the Earth, can not shake his attraction to Faro’s sister, Elvira.

U.S. readers can look forward to the August 1 publication of Ingo. I highly recommend Ingo and The Tide Knot to readers ages eight and up.