Monday, November 15, 2010
Aria of the Sea: Dia Calhoun
Sometimes a person is given the gift of knowing exactly what it is they are meant to do. Not everyone is so lucky; most people struggle their whole lives, trying to figure out their purpose in life.
Cerinthe wants nothing more than to be a dancer in the royal court. To please her mother who died from infection, to make a life for herself full of wealth and notoriety, and most importantly, to please the Sea Goddess. When Cerinthe is accepted to the Royal Ballet School, her life is turned upside down. She is little more than a poor child from the Northern Reach with no real dance experience, thrust into a world of intensity. After leaving the world of folk healing behind her, Cerinthe makes every effort to leap forward into the life of a royal dancer. Yet something keeps drawing her back to the world of medicine, leading her toward a choice between dance and healing. How does one decide what she is meant to do in life?
I picked up Aria of the Sea at the library book sale. Something about the title intrigued me, and I stuffed it in my bag before even reading the book cover. Dia Calhoun has created a new era and a new region, vaguely familiar, but ultimately unknown. Without using archaic or verbose language, Calhoun sucks in her reader with characters that are people we would like to know: Cerinthe--the fiesty young woman chock full of determination, Elianna--the exquisite "highness" who rules the school of ballet, Tayla--the sweet underdog who befriends Cerinthe. Sure, there are a few thin characters, and I would have liked to see more of a few, but basically it's a well developed cast.
This is a young reader novel, and as such, very effective. The heavy-handed moral is simple--listen to your heart. It may sound juvenile, but I know that there are many people who still need to learn this lesson!