Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Title: Plain Kate
Author: Erin Bow
Genre: YA Fiction/Fantasy
Alerts/Warnings: violence associated with witches and witch hunts
Premise: "Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nick name in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square. For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining the crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate. Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish/ It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realized that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed (As written on book jacket)."
Opinions: I do not know what it is lately with me and the choice of books that I've read. I've read several in the last few weeks that I either did not like at all or something occurred in the book that made me feel uncomfortable with posting a review. So when I came across this I had a very large roadblock of doubt to overcome. With that said, overall I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing is very well done and you quickly connect with Kate through her experiences. Though Kate is an interesting girl in her own right, I was more drawn to the character of her cat --Taggles. Through magic Taggles is given the ability to speak and I must say that the author does an incredible job translating a cat's traits and superiority through in the way Taggle moves, speaks, and acts. I LOVED him. He made the entire story for me.
My one warning in regards to this book is that, though done as tastefully as possible considering the situation, some of the scenes in regards to mob mentality and the way people can act upon suspicions made me cringe and gave me goosebumps. So if your teenager is reading this book, please read it with them or before them so that you can talk about it as you see fit.