Svala is a strange woman found shipwrecked on the coast of Inis Eala alongside Knut in Seer of Sevenwaters. She is at first thought to be Knut's wife, but Sibeal realises that there is more to the mystery. It turns out that Svala is a selkie. She was abducted from the island where she lived by Knut, who perhaps thought she could replace his wife, who left him long ago. She wakes up in the holding of the ship, frightened, and is shipwrecked along with the members of the ship. Svala and Knut are found on the coast of Inis Eala, and Knut immediately tells the island folk that Svala is his wife. They are given a cottage to share together on the island. While they are alone in the cottage, Knut forces himself on Svala and rapes her, again and again. Svala is afraid of Knut, for he holds part of her selkie skin hostage around his neck, forcing her to obey him. Svala tries to tell Sibeal of her plight, but because she cannot speak, it is difficult and Sibeal does not understand until the very end that Svala is asking for her help in going home to the Island. Sibeal eventually discovers the truth and tells Johnny, the leader of Inis Eala, who organises an expedition to take Svala home. Sibeal goes with them, because Svala is insistent that Sibeal must go.
On the way to the island, Svala causes chaos on the deck of the ship, distracting the crew. Because of this Gareth ties her arms and legs and forces her to stay below deck. When Sibeal finds out about it she is horrified, and argues against it to no avail, until Cathal realises that Svala must be on the deck to guide the ship to the island. Then Gareth allows her on deck again.
As they approach the island, Svala's mate, in selkie form, celebrates her return by dancing in the water. Svala watches and claps happily, laughing with joy. After landing on the island, Svala attacks Knut and seizes the part of the selkie skin from his neck, finally feeling brave enough to do so now that she is home and her mate is nearby. Svala stays with some of the crew while Sibeal and the others go to rescue the men that Felix spoke of. When they find the men, they find that they have been sleeping under Svala's selkie skin to keep warm (although they do not know it). When they realise, Cathal and Sibeal carry the selkie skin back to the ship with the group. They present the skin to Svala, and she changes back into her true form: that of a sea serpent. Before she rejoins her mate, she takes her revenge on Knut by swallowing him whole. She also manages to relay her full story to Sibeal far easier than when she was in human form.
Svala is the queen of the island. She protects the island, deciding who may land on its shore and who may use magic or Druidic powers there. While Svala is on the island, there is a powerful protective shield on the island, which keeps out Mac Dara's influence. When Svala is abducted, the island becomes vulnerable to Mac Dara. Fortunately, Svala returns before Mac Dara can attack the island through his magic. The Old Ones on the island say that Mac Dara tries to break through into the island and causes terrible storms and waves surrounding it. Svala's presence keeps him out and the island dwellers safe.
Seer of Sevenwaters