Along the Saltwise Sea by A. Deborah Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, reality check: if you liked or loved Over the Woodward Wall, the light, magical adventures of two kids who couldn't be more different from each other, then you'll likely get along just fine with the second book in the adventure.
It has more misadventures and missteps on the Improbable Road on the way to the Impossible City, but most notably is the mystery of the missing Queen of Wands. Think Oz, but with a subversive slant that specifically nods and bucks the other.
Is this a classic on its own? No. But is it important to a much bigger scheme? Yes.
It's not apparent at first glance, however. It's fully connected and referred to in Seanan McGuire's other book, Middlegame, and the main author of THESE books had hidden messages in them to perform major alchemical magics. So, therefore, the adventures, seemingly so light and strange, have a much deeper and weird meaning. You get your four major arcana with all the normal significance of coins, cups, wands, and swords, with the Wand missing. You have quadrants in Middlegame that are associated with real places on America's map.
Beyond this, I'm not reading much more into it, although I suppose I could if I put more effort into it.
As it is now, I'm not THAT invested, except insomuch that I want to see where Seanan takes this all. :) We shall see, won't we?
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