The Pearl in the Ice – Cathryn Constable

Cover – Helen Crawford-White

Stars: ****

Marina lives with her father – a well-respected captain in the navy. He is often off on long adventures which he doesn’t like to discuss with her. Sadly for Marina, her mother left when she was younger and only left behind flashes of herself within the memories Marina holds. Her mother never spoke; she always seemed unhappy; some of the memories are tarnished with unsettling feelings.

One day, her father sets off for another trip whilst sending Marina to a boarding school where he thinks she we will be happy. But, in a last minute decision, she jumps on the train to Portsmouth to give him a final goodbye. A journey that takes her further than she ever dreamed!

Now she finds herself on a voyage with a real crew, whilst pondering the information given to her by the mysterious Miss Smith, who she met on the train. Why is her father going to far North? And what other secrets might he be keeping from her?

The Pearl in the Ice is an adventure set on the waves above the deepest ocean. The beautiful cover art helps set the scene of the journey Marina takes on the Sea Witch with her father and his crew; the frosty, northern atmosphere adds an underlying coolness to the story, aided by the mysterious characters of Miss Smith and Trenchard, along with the memories of Marina’s mother.

I loved the development of the plot; it was fast-paced without revealing too much at once. The ending was unexpected and I enjoyed wondering, along with Marina, what was happening within the story. Miss Smith was an intriguing character who added heaps of mystery!

This was an enchanting adventure with a perfect protagonist in Marina.

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