In “Consigned to the Sea” by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sionna and her daughter, Kate, have been captured by North Sea pirates who want Sionna to show them a course to avoid detection by the crown’s ships. Their leering threats against her daughter have her frantic, but the pirates don’t know that she has one last hope—the selkie husband who abandoned her seven years ago. And even Sionna doesn’t know what such a reunion might bring.
High tension permeates this piece, carrying through each of the threats the characters face. Ackley-McPhail communicates Sionna’s desperate situation through tight prose and strong characterization without making the character a swooning victim or an object of pity.