Hello everyone – I am back again (how has it been quite so long?!) with a review of The Pearl in the Ice by Cathryn Constance.
I was kindly sent this copy to review by Chicken House, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Firstly, I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this is a stunning book – a lot more beautiful than the picture can convey. Secondly, the story itself is just lovely.
We follow Marina who is escaping a horrible boarding school to stow away on her father’s Navy ship. She very soon finds out that there is more going on than she realised – otherworldly creatures, spies and codes abound!
Here’s what Barry Cunningham, publisher of The Pearl in the Ice, has to say about the book;
Have you ever dreamt about the wind carrying you away, far out to sea, the wild waves sweeping you further and further in to the cold north? Cathryn Constable’s brilliant new story will do just that. In these pages, you’ll discover a mystery both above and below the ocean’s surface, a tale of shipwrecks, sea creatures and tangled trust. Here, a girl seeks the truth about her family and the dreadful threats to those she loves. It’s a thriller, an adventure and a romance of wild imagination. Sail away – find yourself!
The different parts of the puzzle are woven together expertly, and only at the end does everything come together satisfyingly. I would recommend this book for 10+ readers who are ready to question their roles in life and whether or not adults are always right.
I am very pleased to be able to share an extract from this lovely book with you today – I hope you enjoy it!
Only once the boy had left the bridge did her father
pull Marina towards him by the sleeve of her tunic.
‘What is the meaning of this, Marina?’
‘You know her, Commander?’ Brown whistled in
‘That’s enough, Brown,’ Commander Denham said,
curtly. ‘You’ll speak when you’re spoken to.’
‘Aye, sir.’ He looked down at his feet.
‘Marina? I want an explanation for why you are not
at school and are instead on my boat.’
Marina stared at the toggle on her father’s duffel
coat. She must not allow herself to see the horizon
moving up and down, up and down. ‘I . . . I . . . I was on
the way to school. Mr Mount took me and Edward to
the station. I was just about to get on the Winchester
train. My trunk had been put on. But then the train to
Portsmouth was on the next platform. I just wanted to
see you . . . One last time.’ She swallowed. Perhaps if she
closed her eyes, she wouldn’t feel so sick. ‘I owe money
to a very kind woman who paid for my ticket . . .’ She
opened her eyes again. Surely she could say that much
without breaking her promise to Miss Smith? ‘I was
meant to see you on the Neptune and then meet her
afterwards, but when I was put off the Neptune there
was such a long time to wait before I could meet the
woman again.’ Marina sniffed. ‘Everything felt so hopeless. But then I met some dogs and I heard the names of
the sailors – it was Brown and Perkins, do you see? And
the day sort of tilted and rocked. And then I just ran up
the gangplank. I didn’t intend to be a stowaway. I really
did just want to see you one last time before you left.
But everything happened so quickly . . .’ She blinked
back tears. ‘I’ve only eaten two biscuits and an apple all
day. Apart from the crust that Ivy gave me. And that
was stale. And now I’ve been sick. Oh, it was over the
side of the boat, so I haven’t made a mess.’
‘Finchin?’ her father said, not taking his eyes off her.
The pleasant-looking sandy-haired man now turned
to the Commander. ‘Yes, sir.’ His clipped tones marked
him out as a naval officer, despite the rough fisherman’s
sweater he wore. He spoke as calmly as if he were waiting
to find out the time of a cricket match.
‘We’ll put my daughter off the boat at Kirkport.’
‘Kirkport, sir? In Scotland?’
‘We can’t risk a larger port. They’ll ask all sorts of
Finchin cleared his throat. ‘Permission to speak, sir.’
‘I know what you’re going to say, Finchin. That a stop
at Kirkport will hold us up. But what can we do? I can
hardly take my twelve-year-old daughter on this mission.’
‘With respect, sir, we are cutting it fine to get to
Svengejar as it is. From there it will take another three
days to get to the Sea of Murmansk—’
‘You think I don’t know where we’re going?’
Commander Denham interrupted.
‘We need to get to Pechorin Island,’ Finchin said,
calmly. ‘And without wasting time stopping at any
unnecessary port . . .’ He cleared his throat. ‘We can’t
dilly-dally if we’re to . . .’ He coughed. ‘Before . . .’
‘But I thought you were going to Cadiz,’ Marina
‘Where I go and what I do is none of your business,’
her father snapped. ‘I have a mission to complete. You –
with your nonsense of playing truant from school and
getting on wrong trains – have jeopardized it. And
we’re scarcely an hour out of Portsmouth!’
‘Father. Please don’t put me off the boat. Please let
me stay. Please.’
‘Stay? On the Sea Witch? It’s out of the question.
This boat is no place for a . . . a . . . girl.’
Marina gripped the shelf more tightly. ‘I’m afraid . . .
I’m awfully sorry . . . But I might just be . . .’ She clapped
her hand tightly to her mouth.
‘Get her off my bridge, Brown. And quick! When she’s
been sick, you can put her in the hold until Kirkport.
You can also check out the other stops on this blog tour – the dates and blogs are all listed below.