Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
City of Islands
Cover of City of Islands
City of Islands
Borrow Borrow Borrow

A dark and riveting middle grade fantasy from the critically acclaimed Kali Wallace about an archipelago of magical islands and one girl's dangerous discovery on the ocean floor. Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kate Milford.

In a foggy archipelago called the City of Islands, twelve-year-old Mara has always been fascinated by the magic that drifts on the air as songs. But as a servant for the powerful Lady of the Tides, Mara must earn her keep by searching for magical treasures deep in the murky ocean.

Then Mara finds the skeletons of strange hybrid creatures that haven't existed in the city for centuries—all humming with a powerful spell-song. Convinced her discovery will earn her the opportunity to study magic, Mara shares them with the Lady. But instead of a reward, the Lady gives Mara a new challenge: to sneak into the island fortress, the Winter Blade.

Now Mara must dive deeper than ever before to survive her mission. The chilling truths that Mara uncovers along the way, about her past as well as about the secrets of her beloved city, are more dangerous—and magical—than she ever imagined.

A dark and riveting middle grade fantasy from the critically acclaimed Kali Wallace about an archipelago of magical islands and one girl's dangerous discovery on the ocean floor. Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kate Milford.

In a foggy archipelago called the City of Islands, twelve-year-old Mara has always been fascinated by the magic that drifts on the air as songs. But as a servant for the powerful Lady of the Tides, Mara must earn her keep by searching for magical treasures deep in the murky ocean.

Then Mara finds the skeletons of strange hybrid creatures that haven't existed in the city for centuries—all humming with a powerful spell-song. Convinced her discovery will earn her the opportunity to study magic, Mara shares them with the Lady. But instead of a reward, the Lady gives Mara a new challenge: to sneak into the island fortress, the Winter Blade.

Now Mara must dive deeper than ever before to survive her mission. The chilling truths that Mara uncovers along the way, about her past as well as about the secrets of her beloved city, are more dangerous—and magical—than she ever imagined.

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Kali Wallace is the author of two novels for teens and many short stories. She studied geology for years but now devotes her time to writing. She lives in Southern California. You can find her at www.kaliwallace.com.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2018

    Gr 5-8-An orphaned girl discovers her talent for magic and awakens a sleeping enchantment. Ever since she can remember, 12-year-old Mara has wanted to learn the singing powers wielded by the mages of her home, the City of Islands. But after the loss of the bone-mage who had raised her, she must put away her dreams and support herself by diving in search of antiquities for a wealthy patroness. One of her finds starts a chain of events that endangers her and her friends. She soon realizes that the simple songs she learned from her mother may have the strength to save them all. Wallace creates an intriguing world. Mara's skills as a swimmer and diver as well as a magic user make her an unusual, appealing protagonist. The racial and ethnic diversity within this seagoing nation, as well as its powerful female leaders and acceptance of same-gender marriages, make for a welcome reboot of the standard sword-and-sorcery setting. VERDICT An adventurous story that will appeal to middle school fantasy readers.-Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School Library, VT

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from May 1, 2018
    Life is not easy for 12-year-old Mara in the magical archipelago City of Islands. Her parents died when she was 5. After begging on the streets of Quarantine Island, she was taken in by a quirky bonemage, Bindy--but one night over a year ago, Bindy went out and never returned. Now working as a diver for the Lady of the Tides, Mara has a chance to prove herself and secure her future. The Lady is obsessed with finding magical remains left by the founders, a race of sea people who built the city centuries ago. After overhearing a tip from a strange, pale-skinned boy, Mara decides to dive in a new spot for ancient magical artifacts, along with her friend and fellow diver Izzy and the boatman Driftwood. What they find shatters Mara's innocence, alters the course of their lives, and reveals secrets that will change the City of Islands forever. Wallace builds intrigue, layer by layer, page by page, until readers are glued to each word right up to the magnificent end. The captivating worldbuilding is supported by a sturdy third-person narrative that's filled with people of various skin tones, personalities, and abilities who find a way to work together to right the wrongs of corruption. Mara and most other denizens of the City of Islands have "brown skin, brown eyes, and curly black hair."Inspiration and excitement from beginning to end. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 16, 2018
    In the newest fantasy realm from Wallace (The Memory of Trees), female empowerment and inclusion are a natural part of life. Twelve-year-old orphan Mara has longed to become a mage. After a string of tragedies, she is forced to dive for the Lady of Tides, an influential mage, looking for magical treasures belonging to the founders, long-vanished, underwater-dwelling creatures who were responsible for the creation of the City of Islands. Mara’s luck takes a turn for the better after she discovers the bones of hybrid creatures, which the Founders were known to have created. But what she had hoped would be her ticket to becoming a mage actually sends her on a treacherous journey in which she tries to break into a nigh-impenetrable fortress and discovers a plot that could threaten the city’s continued existence. Mara’s emotional reactions are at times curiously underwhelming, particularly her discoveries of a profound betrayal and her own magical abilities. However, Wallace’s world offers dreamlike imagery, a fresh concept, and a haunting atmosphere. Ages 8–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta Zurhellen, Foundry Literary + Media.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Wallace builds intrigue, layer by layer, page by page, until readers are glued to each word right up to the magnificent end."
  • School Library Journal "Wallace creates an intriguing world. The racial and ethnic diversity within this seagoing nation, as well as its powerful female leaders and acceptance of same-gender marriages, make for a welcome reboot of the standard sword-and-sorcery setting. An adventurous story that will appeal to middle school fantasy readers."
  • Anne Ursu, author of Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy "City of Islands is a richly imagined, thoroughly engrossing adventure featuring terrible secrets hiding in murky depths, power-hungry mages battling over ancient magic, and, best of all, one brave girl with the vision and heart to set things right. I loved this book."
  • Sally Pla, author of The Someday Birds "City of Islands churns with mystery and adventure, friendship and betrayal. I fell right under its singing-spell, and didn't want to leave."
  • Claire Fayers, author of The Voyage to Magical North "A thrilling, magical adventure, full of surprises."
  • MarcyKate Connolly, New York Times Bestselling author "A unique, beautifully crafted adventure spun with just the right amounts of darkness and sparkle."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 5 titles every 30 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
City of Islands
City of Islands
Kali Wallace
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel