Robin McKinley — The Hero and the Crown (1984)

Luthe snorted with laughter, tried to turn it into a cough, inhaled at the wrong moment, and then really did cough. “Truly,” he said at last, “the poor surka can be a useful tool. You cannot blame it for the misfortunes of your childhood. If you try to breathe water, you will not turn into a fish, you will drown; but water is still good to drink.”

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