The dancers of the Order direct their floating world of Meriel with their movements, but are they steering it toward destruction?
Calara spent her life learning dance patterns and seeking to become the perfect servant to her people. When she discovers the work of the Order is built on lies, she flees with a rough-edged herder, Brantley of Windswell. Pursued by soldiers, her journey through the suffering villages of the rim leads her to a forgotten truth that sends ripples through her world-and through her soul.
Calara seeks clues to her forgotten family and discovers newfound courage in the face of danger, while her quest awakens a growing but forbidden affection for Brantley. Yet even his support can’t fully be trusted, since he’d rather destroy the Order than bring reform.
She is a lone woman facing opposition from rim villages and treachery from the all-powerful Order. Can she restore the dance to its true purpose and bring freedom and hope to her people?
Book 1 of The Dancing Realms series.
When your every foot movement and gesture literally controls your world, people will expect you to avoid any false move. But for dancer Calara Blue, her trained pursuit of perfection has come at a terrible cost.
At the center of Calara’s world, the all-powerful Order has called the best dancers to use their natural abilities to stabilize their island. Without dancers who command the storms and the island’s very position, the island and its ecosystem will drift out of control. So dancers like Calara have pledged their lives to fulfill this high calling.
Then, just as Calara reaches her goal, she discovers that, just maybe, the island does not want to be controlled. Instead, she is forced into fleeing her rigid lifestyle with its every rule and religious belief that she has spent years helping to enforce. Accompanied by a mysterious fisherman, Calara hunts for her own past and for the truth about her beautiful yet dehumanized profession—and its original purpose.
Hidden Current introduces The Dancing Realms three-book series, and author Sharon Hinck draws readers into this unique and colorful world, whose quaking and wandering island itself matches the tumult of Calara’s doubts and challenges.
Although her story hits a few familiar steps, its footwork-based natural-law magic is both fantastically original and well-grounded in our reality. In fact, Hinck crafts this ability and its realistic effects based on her own years of teaching dance. This experience shows in every scene, giving tribute to the passion and hard work of dancers. Even more joyously, the story moves well to the rhythm of an organic and necessary theme: the ultimate purpose of creative gifts, in a world that’s guided not by human movers in a disordered Order, but by a divine and prime Mover.
Best for: Teenage readers and older; anyone, male or female, interested in the God-given magic of culture and the arts.
Discern: Some violence described in general terms, including several people who are painfully maimed; chaste romance between man and woman.