Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
When the Sea is Rising Red

When the Sea is Rising Red

Cat Hellisen

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)




After seventeen-year-old Felicita's dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg's magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Tri-State Reviews Committee Books of Note - Master List



I hunch deeper into the protection of a small copse of stunted blackbarks. Condensed mist drips down the dark leaves and soaks my shawl.
Come on, Ilven. As if I could force her to appear...


Praise for When the Sea is Rising Red

“…an intense look at the seeds of rebellion and the individual consequences they sometimes reap…” —BCCB, Starred

“Hellisen creates an interesting world where magic and superstition rule…” —VOYA

“Hellisen's captivating debut will haunt readers.” —School Library Journal

“Debut author Hellisen's style features evocative descriptions and unflinching detail, drawing readers into the unusual and intriguing elements that make up Felicita's socially complex world.” —Publishers Weekly

“…worldbuilding intrigues, and the open-ended conclusion begs a sequel.” —Kirkus

“Hellisen's first novel combines the survival tactics of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games books with a fascinating array of magical creatures and powers.” —Booklist

In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of WHEN THE SEA IS RISING RED . The scion of a fading magical aristocracy flees an arranged marriage and finds herself caught in a rebellion against her own people. - Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Cat Hellisen

Cat Hellisen lives in Capetown, South Africa, near the sea, and drinks a lot of tea. She tends not to start revolutions. When the Sea is Rising Red is her first novel.

Cat Hellisen

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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