Ireland 1488: An unusual young woman washes ashore on a remote Connemarra isle. Astonished by her golden skin and raven-black hair, the primitive islanders believe her to be a dark spirit or possibly even a mermaid or selkie, and set out to capture her. Resourceful and intelligent, the...
Raven: The raven is an important symbol in Irish and Celtic culture, sometimes a portent of darkness but other times a symbol of canniness and strength. Here it simply references the islander's comparison of Marra's dark hair to the feathers of a raven
Brendan the Voyager: The saint Brendan's tale of his alleged voyages into the Atlantic was a medieval bestseller, and the inspiration for many explorers and sailors
The Pearl: The pearl worn by Marra is almost a metaphor for the girl herself: Golden, beautiful, natural, but coveted by men who want to sell it--and her.
There is no sexual content in the book or any kind of obscenity, only a chaste romance; but there are brief references to rape, prostitution and cannibalism. There is some violence, but not overly graphic. Some younger readers under 16 might find the history daunting or confusing, especially if they have no background in World History.
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