Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 1997
In 17th-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition, yet the Sun King's appetite for glory knows no bounds. In a bold stroke, he sends his natural philosopher on an expedition to seek the source of immortality, a rare, perhaps mythical, sea monster.
When Father Yves de la Croix returns with the shrieking creature with the gargoyle face, Marie-Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in his scientific experiment. But struck by the creature's gaze and exquisite singing, Marie-Josèphe finds herself contemplating actions that would defy every institution in her life: king, country, church, and even family. Somehow, she must find the courage to follow her heart and her convictions, even at the cost of changing her life forever.
"A wonderful book! Adventure, love, history, magic -- it's an engrossing story with magnificent characters, balanced perfectly on the edge between enchantment and belief." (Diana Gabaldon)