The Sea Princesses are back!
The World of Salacia is in danger! A strange goop in the sea threatens all sea life.
Who will save them? The Shark King only thinks about attacking and is planning a war against the men of Dryland.
Polvina, Ester, Tubarina, Maurico and their new friend, Mr Lorenzo, take action in the story full of suspense, humour and emotion. A Shadow in the Water, another adventure of the Sea Princesses written and illustrated by Fábio Yabu.
On Wednesday night, Ester calls Polvina to show her an ad for Sea Park, a new amusement park opening on the weekend. The next day, as they head to school, Ester tells Polvina that they are going there and proceeds to talk about it nonstop, much to Tubarina’s chagrin. Miss Marla tells the class that the school has organised an excursion to Sea Park on the weekend as well, much to their excitement. After school that day, the girls return to the Octopus Palace. Tubarina is sick of hearing about Sea Park and suggests that they do their homework, during which Ester shares a couple of jokes with her and Polvina.
The next day, Maurico arrives late to school and angers Tubarina by insulting sharks. Ester joins in as well and Miss Marla punishes the three by not allowing them to go to Sea Park. After school ends, Ester tries asking her father to convince Miss Marla to let her go, but he is unable to because no king in Salacia can change her mind. The girls return to the Starfish Palace, where the Starfish Royal Family’s butler, Ayrton, is serving them lunch. Ester breaks down in tears and goes straight up to her room. Later, Tubarina breaks down as well after revealing to Polvina that she was as excited to go to Sea Park as Ester was.
Meanwhile, the Octopus and Starfish Kings are called to the Turtle Palace, where the Turtle Queen shows them to Mrs Judith, a turtle covered in black goop. Tata comes in and bursts into tears upon seeing this.
The next day, just as the class is about to head off on the excursion, Tata and Polvina tell Miss Marla that they don’t want to go anymore, as Tata wants to stay with Mrs Judith and Polvina wants to be with her friends at school. Miss Marla allows them to do so and leaves Polvina, Ester, Tubarina and Maurico with Mr Lorenzo, a shark who can apparently speak Salacian (the language that the salines speak).
At the Turtle Palace, Mrs Judith is now in a stable condition after the doctors managed to extract the black goop she swallowed. She tells Tata and the Turtle Queen that many other animals got trapped in the black goop like her. Suddenly, the Turtle King comes in, saying that the sky has turned black and many other animals are appearing in the same state that Mrs Judith was.
Back at the Sea School, Maurico, Tubarina and Ester get into an argument and Polvina puts a stop to it, revealing that Mr Lorenzo is not only old, but blind as well. Meanwhile, the bus stops on the way to Sea Park when various animals covered in black goop appear. The Shark King arrives in an ambulance and orders the camouflage to be activated, which would make the palaces and buildings in Salacia practically invisible. He tells Miss Marla to take the children back to their palaces, but they want to help the animals because that was the first thing Miss Marla taught them when they started school. Seeing this, the Shark King decides to make them useful.
While looking for Polvina, Ester and Maurico, Mr Lorenzo reveals to Tubarina that he was blinded when a Drylander shot him in the eye. When he went to the Shark King for help, he told him that unlike other people, he would not feel sorry for him and he would only help him if he helped himself. With this, the Shark King taught him to trust himself, develop his other senses and speak Salacian, eventually resulting in him getting a job at the school. Upon finding the others, they suddenly spot a Drylander diver outside. Polvina, having known about the camouflage from her father, realises that it must have been activated and the Drylander can’t see them, but they can’t call anyone as a result.
Tubarina spots a baby shark, Felipe, covered in black goop and breaks a window in an attempt to save him. While Mr Lorenzo distracts the Drylander, the others catch Felipe, who reveals to everyone’s surprise that the Drylander didn’t come to hunt him, but to help him. He was being treated on Dryland when an accident caused him to fall back into the sea, leading to the diver coming down to rescue him. After having detected no malice from the diver, Mr Lorenzo suggests that they hand Felipe to the Drylanders, while offering to accompany him as well. They then realise that they need to warn the Shark King of the situation and Mr Lorenzo leaves this in the hands of Tubarina and the others.
Polvina gets an idea to cover themselves with rugs and swim close to the floor in order to avoid being seen by Drylanders. As they swim to the Shark Palace, they realise that the Shark King might not be there in this crisis, so they decide to split up, with Tubarina and Ester continuing to the Shark Palace while Polvina and Maurico find Miss Marla.
Polvina and Maurico arrive where Miss Marla is and quickly get to work finding the Shark King upon hearing that he is nearby. They convince the Shark King to stop his shark army from attacking the Drylanders, but he refuses, saying that “they are nothing but predators who just want to destroy what lies ahead”. Polvina tells him that she heard the same thing about sharks, but was convinced otherwise thanks to Tubarina and Mr Lorenzo, which causes the Shark King to relent. Just as he is about to give the order, he discovers that Tubarina commandeered the sharks. She brings the sharks to where everyone is and has them put the animals on top of the sharks, who then take them to Dryland.
Over the next few weeks, the black goop in the sky gradually recedes. As school starts again, Tubarina cries over Mr Lorenzo’s absence. It is then revealed that the black goop was caused by a leaking oil tanker, which caused thousands of litres of oil to spill out into the sea in just two hours. As the Drylanders worked to contain the spill and rescue the animals, they also heard various stories that were known to many as miracles.
Later, Felipe returns to the sea and finds Tubarina and the others. He tells her that Mr Lorenzo decided to stay on Dryland after realising that the Fifth Law of Salacia (to respect all kingdoms as one) extended to the surface, meaning that he saw it as another kingdom. He also pardons them of their punishment and at the end of the week, everyone is finally able to go to Sea Park.
- In P33, the Starfish Palace is described as “a huge blue tower” when the Starfish Palace is shown as yellow on the same page and in the animated series. This has been corrected in the translation.
- This error is also reflected in the Kindle version of the book.
- There are two Easter eggs in this book.
- On P19, if you zoom in on the back cover of the book that Polvina is reading, you can see some text that begins with “Siddhartha Gautama sat in Zazen for seven days and seven nights”. This is an excerpt from a blog post by Zen Buddhist nun Monja Coen/Coen Rōshi, who founded the Zen Buddhist Community of Brazil, also known as Zendo Brazil. The full story is about how Buddha achieved enlightenment from a Zen Buddhist point of view.
- On P65, if you zoom in on the metal plate of the telephone Ester is using, you can see some text that begins with “All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end” repeated twice. This quote is by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, the main antagonist of the first Kingdom Hearts game.