Seabird is a work of high fantasy which will appeal to aficionados of the genre who appreciate tales that recount the struggles, failures, and triumphs of reluctant heroes.
Teenager Cara Marshall is the reluctant hero of Seabird. Plucked from a predictable life of summer vacation at the local beach, younger sibling to baby-sit and game arcade dates with her boyfriend, Cara is suddenly and inexplicably transported to the distant and less technologically sophisticated world of Narenta. And from the moment she arrives nothing is predictable. Cara finds herself alone in a weird and wonderful landscape filled with strange, exotic creatures and a race of bird-like people that call themselves the Young Ones who believe that Cara, whom they call "the Outworlder," has been sent by their God, Alphesis, to deliver them from the evil of the Daetaga, a trio of ancient life-destroying sorcerers. When all her efforts and repeated pleas to be returned to her own world fail to convince the Young Ones that she is not the hero they think she is, Cara sets out on her own to find a way home.
And so begins her great and arduous journey. On her trek across Narenta she soon discovers that not only does almost everyone she meets know more about who she is and why she is there than she does, but also that she is being pursued by forces whose only objective is to destroy her. Along the way Cara is both betrayed to her enemies, the Shadow, and aided by wise and noble enchanters and the courageous and spiritually evolved Seabirds, servants of the Light, who selflessly give themselves to her protection and guide her to an understanding of her destiny and of the mission only she can undertake and complete.
Cara learns, often as a result of great personal loss, what it means to give of oneself to serve a greater good - for almost without realizing it she comes to accept her strange destiny - and to seek victory over evil in the face of devastating odds, to face fear, death and the unknown with fortitude and courage born of faith, even though there is little hope of survival.
The first third of Seabird moves forward at a leisurely and exploratory pace, but action-loving readers shouldn't despair. As the plot begins to unfold the story picks up momentum and moves relentlessly forward with plenty of conflict. both physical and magical, as battles and inter-personal struggles are waged across Narenta until the story's powerful conclusion.
Seabird is a work of tremendous imagination and great devotion. With good humor and a light touch Ms. Thompson quietly asks the reader to consider what his/her own response might be if suddenly and irretrievably "put to the test." It is a book well worth your investment of reading time.