Feathertide by Beth Cartwright

Maréa is born during the midnight hour, with feathers growing from her body, she is born into a house of whores, and must be kept hidden from the people who visit the house. Maréa is also virtually a prisoner as she isn’t allowed to leave the house, and isn’t supposed to leave her room. Maréa’s world is full of beautiful stories but she outgrows these as she longs for the freedom to discover the world. Maréa watches birds flying free outside her window and wants to do the same.

The story is told from Maréa’s perspective, as she looks back on her past and the events that took her on a journey of self-discovery. It is reflective, as Maréa is giving thought about things she didn’t know or understand at the time certain events happened. Maréa wants to find out who her father is, as well as wanting to find a place where she feels comfortable in herself rather than fearful of other people’s prejudices.

When she is a child her tutor tells her of a place called the City of Water, which is also known as the City of Murmurs and Maréa knows that this is where she needs to go to find out the truth about herself. The city is one of mystery and wonder. There are mermaids with lost tails, sunken palaces that contain lost time, where nights of illusion can be found.  Slowly with the help of Sybel who gives Maréa a place to stay, and reveals her own history. Maréa starts to make friends in this strange city, and encounters new and mysterious things as she travels through its streets. Maréa comes to see herself in a new light.

This is a story about the impatience of waiting for things to happen. The choices you make about who you want to be, and the decisions that will tear your heart apart as you try to figure out who you are and who you may hurt by seeing things to their conclusions. Overall this is a great story rich in fantasy, but it also feels like a fairy tale with not as much depth to this wondrous yarn as you might expect, but it has its heartfelt moments, and I would choose to reread this in years to come.

7/10 Overall this is a great story rich in fantasy

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