‘If you go to sea, you will come to the attention of the Ship Kings. And if they discover who you are, they will kill you.’
Young Dow Amber is no sailor. But driven by a strange sea-longing he ventures down to the great grim bay known as the Claw. He hopes to learn there of seafaring, but he finds only a fearful people who scarcely dare sail at all, for they have been cursed by a monstrous whirlpool that haunts the bay, stealing away their sons.
Then the rulers of all the world – the proud and cruel Ship Kings – arrive in the Claw. Dow is fascinated by their fine tall vessels, and even more so by a mysterious girl who lives aboard their flagship.
It is a perilous attraction to be sure, but could it be that his future somehow lies with the Ship Kings? Or will he be called upon to descend to his death, when the terrible whirlpool rises once more?
‘this beautifully crafted novel shapes up as a classic seafaring tale … an epic hero story’
— Herald Sun
‘Reads like an instant classic’
— Reading Monthly
‘masterful storytelling, elegant prose and a powerful sense of place … the kind of storytelling that stays with you long after the tale has ended’
Shortlisted, 2012 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award – Older Readers
Shortlisted for the Indie Awards 2012, Children’s category
Finalist, 2011 Aurealis Awards – Children’s Fiction (told primarily through words)
Longlisted, 2012 Gold Inky for an Australian YA Book