The water was glacial, crushing the breath out of Pitu’s lungs and squeezing his stomach tight. His thoughts and worries left his mind, and all that remained was panic rushing through his entire
The water was glacial, crushing the breath out of Pitu’s lungs and squeezing his stomach tight. His thoughts and worries left his mind, and all that remained was panic rushing through his entire body. As he sank beneath the ice, Pitu felt as though he was being stabbed from all directions. For a moment, he thought it might be the qallupilluit, their long, sharp nails piercing him. Eventually, Pitu opened his eyes, and for a moment they burned. But he could see that he was alone in the darkness. Soon the burning dissipated. He looked around, and above him he could see a jagged cast of light. As he descended, as he watched that light drifting farther and blurring with the salt and ice, a calmness engulfed him.
Pitu held his breath, but he also felt the absence of needing to breathe. The current kept pulling him deeper into the ocean. The stabbing pain of the cold had stopped, and now Pitu only felt numb. The light had disappeared completely now. Though he was surrounded by darkness, Pitu was comfortable in it.
His eyes began to adjust to the darkness and suddenly there was no darkness at all. The water surrounding him had turned a beautiful shade of blue, and inexplicable floes of ice floated around him. The floes cast bright lights that were unlike sunlight or moonlight. Their soft glow created an exquisite colourful aura.
This isn’t how nature works, Pitu thought.
Haunted by the vicious creatures of his recent past, Pitu tries to go back to a normal life at home after the other-worldly travels and near-death encounters of his recent disappearance into the world of the spirits. But Pitu knows that there is more work to be done, and more that he must learn in his new role as a shaman.
When word of a starving village nearby reaches Pitu, he must go help its people appease the angry spirits. It soon becomes clear that Pitu must travel to the bottom of the ocean to meet Nuliajuk, the vengeful woman below, one of the most powerful beings in Inuit mythology.
There he learns about his role in saving the starving community and that all in his home camp may not be as it seems . . .
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An exciting follow-up to the critically acclaimed Those Who Run in the Sky from rising literary star Aviaq Johnston.
Johnston beautifully blends a portrait of the traditional Inuit life on the land with Inuit mythology and folklore to create a novel that will grab young readers from the first page...Johnston not only effortlessly mixes fact and fiction but has also created in Pitu a character that young readers will care deeply about – good thing, since there’s a third book in the works.
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Rich in detail and culturally nuanced, any reader will find the story approachable and connect to its themes of friendship, compassion, and trust...An elegant sequel that can dwell on its own.
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