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Smith, Barbara.

Penticton (B.C.), Theytus Books, c1985. 225pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-919441-18-1. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

This is a novel of fantasy, a myth that draws today's world into a world that we can only imagine. The story concerns a people who live under the sea, the Anishoni. All people were once like these, living under the sea in harmony with nature, respecting all living creatures and having no need of verbal communication because they communicated by thought. However, when part of the sea dried up and land masses were created, there was not enough room for all the Anishoni to remain in the sea, so some went to live on the land. These were the Ticanishoni. So begins this gentle tale with its fascinating combination of the real and the unreal, the believable, the unbelievable, and the almost-believable.

The story is centred around Ioni Red Cedar. She is taken by an Anishoni male to live under the sea with his people. Originally, he means to do her harm because of all the destruction that the Ticanishoni have caused to the sea and his people. However, when he discovers that not all land people are responsible for such evils, he has pity on her. He takes her to live with him, so that she can experience true job in the undersea world.

After many years of living with the sea people and learning their ways, it is Toni's (now Teoni's) task to return to the land people and show then the error of their ways. A sequel to this story is planned and most readers will look forward to it.

Because of the style, which flows easily, one is drawn into the simple, gently told tale. But one is held by the tale itself, which leaves the reader's mind swimming (no pun intended) with possibilities.

The book is published in a quality paperback edition. There is a stunning drawing by Vernon Brown on the cover. The shades of green and gold blend in a perfect symbol of the main elements of the story.

This book could be used by a secondary class studying fantasy or myth, but it is equally worthwhile for the adult reader who wants to get lost in a good story. Renewal is especially recommended for all libraries that wish to add to their collection of books with native content.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Cree School Board, Chisasibi, James Bay, Que.
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