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Old ruin of a castle under the sea.

A SEPARATE GRACE is a middle-grade coming-of-age fantasy novel set in an ancient second-world. Complete at 68,000 words, it centers on Larke, a twelve-year-old girl who lives in a city under the sea. Grounded in myth and legend, it is an inversion of the Selkie myth.

Larke is different from everyone else she knows. She doesn’t have gills. Stuck in a city of crystal domes on the ocean floor, her life in Charis is limited. Trapped inside, day in and day out, she is stifled by constraints and extra sensitive to repetitive sounds. Her frustration makes her act out, but her priest encourages her to focus on beginning an apprenticeship after her upcoming graduation.

When she discovers something that will allow her to breathe underwater, she thinks she is on the edge of freedom, but city leaders refuse to accommodate Larke’s differences in the graduation test. When it looks like she will be held back for another year, she acts out by removing the clappers from the city bells, but instead causes the bells to fall. Her action damages the city-center and almost kills her sister. She makes amends by giving up the resources she’d collected to create additional breathing potions for herself, but not everyone is ready to forgive.

A SEPARATE GRACE will appeal to readers of SARA AND THE SEARCH FOR NORMAL by Wesley King and THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP by Liz Kessler.