Item description for The Heart of the Caveat Whale Book One The Captives (The Heart of the Caveat Whale) by S. J. R. Smith...
A giant wave leaves Shunda, a young aquavian, orphaned and alone for 12 years. In search of his kin, he swims to the land of Hoondiake and finds himself at the centre of a great battle. In Loesheen, a month's swim north of Hoondiake, the Ancient MerKing of the deepest sea has enslaved aquavians, the most peaceful of all creatures of Aiqua Marrin, and twisted their minds to fight on the land of Hoondiake, where mermen cannot breathe for long. He discovers deep friendships, desperate enemies and captives, indeed a whole world, on the verge of freedom.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.8" Width: 4.88" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date Jan 22, 2007
Publisher Grosvenor House Publishing Limited
ISBN 1905529937 ISBN13 9781905529933
Reviews - What do customers think about The Heart of the Caveat Whale Book One The Captives (The Heart of the Caveat Whale)?
S.J.R. Smith's debut novel is a winner Oct 17, 2007
The Heart of the Caveat Whale is a captivating allegory capturing a timeless struggle between aggression and relief. The Aquavians, a peace loving and joyful race of underwater beings are being threatened by dark denizens of the deep waters, led by a fearsome MerKing. The fight seems hopeless as thousands of Aquavians are either killed or captured and turned against their own as vicious, mindless hordes.
Shunda, a lone Aquavian, orphaned by the war and searching for his lost people stumbles upon Hoondiake, the only land fighting back against the MerKing's advances onto dry soil. Allied together Shunda, and Mookori, a prince of Hoondiake, search desperately for a way to win back the minds of the captive aquavians and strike an offensive against the dreaded MerKing and his Merman army. If the unusual names are hard to swallow, don't worry because there is a pronunciation guide at the back of the book explaining how they are supposed to sound. It is yet another thoughtful addition to what is a well contemplated story.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The imagery was simply enchanting. I could hear the waves crashing against the shores of Hoondiake allowing a smile at the pure innocence and joy of Shunda, and I shivered when faced with the cold cruelty of the MerKing. S.J.R. Smith did a fabulous job of weaving an entirely new world in such a delightful way that you get submerged in the story and hours have passed before you can tear yourself away. Being that the Captives is only the first book in a series, we as readers won't have to wait ashore for very long before we find out what happens next.
Thus begins a sweeping epic, written for young adults yet appealing to fantasy lovers of all ages. Oct 7, 2007
The Heart of the Caveat Whale Book One: The Captives begins a trilogy set in a world struggling against the tyrannical domination of the MerKing. Peaceful, human-like ocean dwellers known as aquavians were once numerous, yet now they are controlled by cruel means to fight for the MerKing, since they can breathe on land while mermen cannot. One young aquavian, orphaned in a magic-induced quake twelve years ago, retains his own mind due to chance isolation; he is the key to a prophecy predicting the end of the MerKing's rule. Yet before the war for freedom can be taken to the sea, first the captives on land must be freed. Thus begins a sweeping epic, written for young adults yet appealing to fantasy lovers of all ages. Highly recommended.
A great ocean fantasy Jul 27, 2007
Reviewed by Ian McCurley (age 13) for Reader Views (7/07)
The story begins when Qoshonni, an Aquavian, is out gathering herbs and is kidnapped by the people of the island and given to the Mermen, an evil race of humanoid fish-people. Mermen are much like Aquavians except that Aquavians can travel and breathe on land well, while Mermen must stay near or in the water. Qoshonni is taken along with many other Aquavians to the bottom of the ocean and forced to join the army of the Mermen who feed them tainted meat to control them. She and a group of Aquavians resist in secrecy, only eating what they can catch.
Twenty years later, the young Aquavian, Shunda, is living in the ocean with his dolphin friend, Obraidh, and Obraidh's pod of rough toothed dolphins. Lately, Shunda has been thinking about leaving the pod and going off in search of his own kind. He had only come to the dolphins after the Great Wave which took his own family. Although he enjoyed their company, he sought the companionship of his own kind. After finding a warrior's belt of pearls, Shunda decides to set out with Obraidh in search of other Aquavians. They eventually land upon the shores of Hoondiake, which, as one of the Hoondiake princes tells them, is at war with the Mermen. The prince asks Shunda to help them deal with the captured Aquavian who, because of the meat, has become extremely violent. Can Shunda help this Aquavian and all the others under the rule of the Mer King break their addiction to the mysterious, evil meat and become their gentle selves once again? And, can Qoshonni help herself and her band of rogue Aquavians escape the Mer King? And the biggest question is "Why is this called `The Heart of the Caveat Whale?'"
"The Heart of the Caveat Whale" is for ages 13 and up. You will like reading this book if you enjoy the topics of islands, the ocean and the classic fantasy novel. S.J.R. Smith shines in this book because of the well-written, well-thought-out and very original story. "The Heart of the Caveat Whale" is an intriguing and interesting adventure tale.
Good underwater fantasy for all ages Jul 17, 2007
This engaging fantasy introduces a new type of character: the aquavians, who look basically like humans except that they have gills, lungs and webbed fingers. They might be of human stock, though, since they can intermarry.
The book starts off with a bang: the aquavians' peace-loving culture is invaded by wicked mermen, who conscript them to fight in the evil MerKing's war. As the mermen torment their captives and feed them drugged food, Quoshonni and a few of her friends struggle to keep their sanity and their true natures.
Meanwhile in another part of the sea, a mighty quake separates Shunda, an aquaviling (youngster) from his parents and destroys their undersea home. The boy loses his people and wanders alone until adopted by a friendly dolphin, Obraidh. For twelve years, he searches for his lost people and happens to come to land in Hoondiake, just ahead of the mermen, whom he doesn't know are pursuing him. There, the Prince Mookori takes him under his wing and tries to protect this lone peaceful aquavian. Hoondiake is battling the mermen and to its shock, aquavians who seem to have lost their ancient friendship with humans and now fight on the mermen's side.
Besides a captivating fantasy, the book has several other things going on in it. Since the aquavians are dark-skinned, when the humans shun them, there is a thread of prejudice there. The mermen's violent culture adds elements of coercion and violence. I'm wondering if the fact that subverted aquavians become covered with barnacles actually hints at hiding one's true nature under a tough, scaly armor as a parable to modern life.
Overall, while the high-flown language the characters use sounds stilted sometimes, the book is a wonderful fantasy that adds new ideas to the genre.
Armchair Interviews says: Interesting underwater fantasy for young adult and older.