Article Title

Swallow's Dance


Maryn Wheeler


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Coming-of-age, Bronze Age, Survival, Crete, Fantasy fiction

Document Type

Book Review


As an upper-class priest-folk, Leira is training to be a priestess for the goddess of her island. When a girl becomes a woman in Leira’s clan, the Swallow Clan, she learns songs and dances to offer the goddess of the island. Beginning on the first day of her learning, the earthshakes bring tsunami devastation, and Leira is forced to help her newly crippled Mama and slave-woman Nunu survive. Her father and brother return from sea long enough to move them off the volcanic island to a new place with a new goddess and a new social status as refugee. Leira must leave behind her old habits and priest-folk mindset to survive and care for her family. In the end, she finds hope through creativity, hard work, and the goodness of friends.