Monday, November 29, 2010

Shapeshifter by Holly Bennett

Title: Shapeshifter
Author: Holly Bennett
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: The main character belongs to an immortal race known as the Sidhe. In this race you can be married to someone, but if you found someone else you fall in love with you simply leave and go live with the new person. This is moderately acceptable within this race. This aspect of the book is really only in relation to back story, but if this makes you uncomfortable then I suggest that you do not read this story.
Premise: "In order to escape the sorcerer who wants to control her gift of song, Sive must transform herself into a deer, leave the Otherworld and find refuge in Eire, the land of mortals." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I have read another series by Holly Bennett and absolutely loved it (for a review of the first book in that series please click here: The Bonemender. So I was thrilled to realize it that she had released a new novel just this year. The Shapeshifter follows the adventure of Sive who is one of the Celtic immortal race the Sidhe. From her father she has inherited the ability to shapeshift (her chosen form is that of a doe), and from her mother she has the ability to enchant people through song. When the Druid Far Doirche decides to capture her in order to use her songs to control others she must use her shapeshifting abilities to elude him. As a doe she enters into the realm of the mortals.

I love the idea of having different abilities inherited from each parent. I loved the strength that Sive shows through her ordeal. I even love that the story is told from different perspectives, and yet all revolves around what is happening to Sive. In fact I love that Ms. Bennett chose to take an Irish folktale and use a lesser known character to weave her story. There were two difficulties that I did have: 1) The Sidhe do not treat marriage and relationships as I would (but as this is a fictional story I can somewhat set that aside), 2) The climax of the story was not what I thought it would be (You will have to read the story to fully understand). Though Ms. Bennett's other series (The Bonemender) remains my favorite of hers, I did enjoy this read.

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