Book Review by Aarene Storms: The Brides of Rollrock Island

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
Misskaella Prout is ugly and outcast, unloved by her family, mocked by the women and rejected by the men of Rollrock Island.

Though she has a magical talent to pull selkies from out of their seal-skins and into human shape, she does not stop with merely conjuring a lover for herself. Instead, Misskaella also creates a deep and complex revenge against the island people by providing -- for a price -- a beautiful seal-wife for each man on the island. Enchanted by the fey sea-wives, the men abandon their human families, mortgage their wealth, and deny that their lives are anything but wonderful. The selkie women are helpless without their seal-skins... but when their sons steal back the coats, life on the island changes dramatically once again.

A complex and beautifully written story of hatred, love, magic, revenge, and eventually, redemption. No cussing, minimal violence, and some on-page sexual situations between humans and selkies.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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