Sadly, this didn't hold up quite so well to adult reading as some of the other blasts from the past I've been going through lately. It's the world-building that's the sticking point for me; both the talking animals who act more or less like humans and the unquestioned belief in the divine right of kings evoke eyebrow-raising, if not outright eye-rolling.
What saves it is the writing, which is lyrical and graceful leaning almost towards archaic in genre terms--if I didn't have the copyright page to refer to, I would have pinned date of publication on the 50s or 60s, not 80s. The years Teb lives with the otters came alive just as well as they did during my original middle-school read. I can almost smell the ocean.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the plotline with Teb's mother, which I hadn't remembered clearly. I was expecting another woman in a refrigerator; instead I got something quite different, and unusual for the genre. If I pick up the latter two books in the trilogy, it will be largely to see how the author continues to develop that.