Genre: Upper MG Fantasy
Word Count: 60,000
Dagger Island is no place for children, which is grand, because fourteen-year-old Sedna believes she’s all grown up.
After her parents’ death, Sedna’s forced to sail to the elusive island to live with her grandmother, exchanging her prim upbringing for a life of adventure.
But the adventure starts sooner than expected.
While crossing the Trade Sea, Sedna’s ship is attacked by sea dragons. She’s thrown overboard and almost drowns. When she wakes up, she’s on Dagger Island. Alone.
Relying on memories of her father’s expedition journals to survive, Sedna searches the jungle for her grandmother’s township. Along the way, she encounters another survivor, the annoyingly confident cabin boy, Louie, and they make an unsettling discovery.
Her father’s journals are full of lies.
Dagger Island has more secrets than the sea: barbarian cannibals, a village in the sky, and a tribe that worships the sea goddess. When Sedna suspects her parents died protecting the island’s secrets, she and Louie search for answers.
But the closer they get to the truth, and her grandmother, the more Sedna questions who she is—and if she’s really as grown up as she thought.
Sedna was suffocating. She scrambled up the ship’s ladder feeling like a bird beating its wings against its cage. When she reached the top step, she flung open the hatch and squinted in the afternoon sunlight. Warm sea air gusted over the bow of the ship, filling the sails until brimming.
Ms. Bess yelled after her to stop, but Sedna climbed on deck and released the hatch, letting the wind slam it shut.
She was too old to have a nanny.
Her skirts flailed behind her as she crossed the planking to the starboard rail. The sparkling Trade Sea draped before her in every direction, a pristine reflection of the aquamarine sky. While locked in her cabin below, she'd wished for moderate seas and ideal winds. She wasn't disappointed.
Ms. Bess caught up to her, puffing hard. “Child, how many times have I told you not to run on the ship?” Round and doughy with a double chin, Ms. Bess’s cheeks resembled sweet rolls dotted with raspberry jam. “And put on your hat.”
Sedna parried her efforts to set the ladies cap on her head. “The sun won’t harm me.”
“It surely will. Too much spoils your complexion. You’ve already sprouted unsightly freckles since we left Datmour. What would your mother have said?”
She eluded Ms. Bess’s reach again. She didn’t mind her freckles. They gave her pale skin much needed color. As for what her mother might have said, she preferred not to think about it. Her mother’s phobia of water had kept Sedna from seafaring, but her death had changed that. Her death had changed everything.