Sixteen-year-old Maris Varroue has lived in Cheul all her life and has never ventured off to other places. After learning of her arranged marriage, Maris questions life and if she'll be forever stuck in Cheul. However, after discovering a mysterious amulet and a run-in with two pirates, Maris' life takes a monumental turn, leading her into unknown territories and adventures.
I’ve always wondered what it was like out there; beyond my window, beyond this city, beyond the sea. Lately I’ve wondering about all the places and people beyond Cheul, and now that I’m sixteen, there’s so much out there that I have questions about. I mean Piem did make the world, so it must be a place for exploration.
My father was my inspiration. He was the one who showed me that the ocean is not always a deadly, cold place: it was mysterious, it was green, it was life. I remember once as a child that he told me that the sea was a place where he could get away from it all and a place just where he and nature can be one. My father was always the naturalist, sitting on the hillside reading amidst the cool, tranquil breeze of the sea and the fine, youthful greenness of the grass. However, my mother was the complete opposite.
My mother was a woman of false realism. She believed in marrying young, relying on a husband and cooking and having children and staying home. She told me once that the only reason why Piem made women was because men needed us to take care of them and give them offspring. At that point in time I thought it was true, due to the fact that I was a naïve ten-year-old girl, but now that I’m older I honestly think that a woman can be independent. I know a woman that’s independent. She has gotten married a few times, but she has her own tavern and everything. Her name was Mizzy, and she was my inspiration for life.