By Angie Frazier
June 1, 2010
Scholastic Press, 336 pages
Sailing aboard her father’s ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession – a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the immortals.
The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father’s adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar – a handsome young sailor and her father’s first mate – who is in love with Camille and whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows.
With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what – and who – matters most.
— Amazon.com description
First things first: I was sold the moment I saw the map background on this book’s cover. Just gorgeous, as it the story itself.
With a smoothly sailing plot (sorry, I can only resist the puns so long before one pops out), plenty of intrigue and beautifully descriptive writing, I was, well, swept away.
It sort of reminded me of the romance in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie before all the craptastic sequels. A young woman on the high seas falls for a guy beneath her social standing. Ooohlala, I loved the romance here, but it definitely took a back seat to the mystery — a treasure hunt that took me from the ships’ decks to the wilds of Australia.
Fans of historical fiction will enjoy!