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Hickman and Hickman, "Swept Up by the Sea: A Romantic Fairy Tale" (reviewed by Denice Stiles-Mouncé) Options · View
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:51:57 PM

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Title: Swept Up by the Sea: A Romantic Fairy Tale
Author: Tracy and Laura Hickman
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Romantic Satire, Fiction
Year Published: 2013
Number of Pages: 323
Binding: Hardback
ISBN13: 978-1-60907-661-0
Price: $17.99

Reviewed by Denice Stiles-Mouncé for the Association for Mormon Letters

With a title that includes the phrase “Romantic Fairy Tale,” I was, understandably, hesitant to begin the book, but before the end of the first chapter I was laughing. With such romantic names as Tuppence and Percival, and intriguing characters like down-and-out pirates, a self-promoting bard, a cheesily romantic couple, a determined fiancée, and two men seeking their true loves, this story can be described as a romantic satire, a story of self-discovery, and, yes, a romantic fairy tale.

This is the story of young Percival who follows the advice of a self-serving seer to go to sea to seek his fortunes. During his misadventure to do just that, he spies the lovely Tuppence who is every bit as romantically illusioned as himself. What ensues is a delightful adventure with engaging characters, disasters, and true love that kept me turning the pages.

The book starts off slowly, with Percival trying everything he can to become a pirate: “He told himself that he was a man of action…Real pirates, he told himself, were bounding over the sea in their pirate vessels, the wizard ports spewing mystical fire over the decks of heavily laden treasure ships. They swung by the ropes that were tied all over the masts and sail-holders with broadswords held between their teeth while rescuing the likes of Tuppence Magrathia-Paddock with their free hands” (63). Percival finally gets his wish and, after several misadventures as the characters strive to set out to sea, they finally make it out of port…and straight into a storm. In this storm they are faced with their true destinies as they must discover who they are, and act, before time runs out.

A delightfully engaging story for the teen or young adult reader, the authors turn sappy romance, overdone fairy tale creatures, and the human condition into a joke we can all enjoy, and include a story within the story that warms the heart. Written by Tracy and Laura Hickman, who have coauthored many fiction novels together since their marriage in 1977, this book was published by Shadow Mountain and is available for purchase for $17.99.
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