Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Plain Kate by Erin Bow Review

Source: Publisher

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 nickname 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 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 realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

PLAIN KATE is the first book I've read that's a fairey - tale retelling. I had never read one before, but I was nowhere near hesitant. I love fairey - tales, especially Russian ones and was so excited to read PLAIN KATE.

The book is written like a fairey - tale would be, but it's way longer than one, but you go through an adventure with Kate and all that she goes through. You begin to feel for her since she's an orphan and this witch, Linay, is asking her for her shadow. Let me tell you, I had many doubts about Linay. No matter how charming he seemed, I could not trust him, but still at times, I could. Kate is a wonderful character, full of emotions and was 3 - D. And to make the book more of a gariey - tale retelling, there was Kate's talking cat, Taggle, which I thought was a great additon to the story.

For the ending, I couldn't ask for more. Just like a fairey-tale ending I have grown up to love, Bow delivers it in PLAIN KATE. No cliffhanger, and it certainly wasn't anywhere near dull. A perfect ending to wrap up a fairey-tale.

This cover is one of my favorites. For some reason it screams Russian fairey-tales to me, and the girl with her cat on the cover is exactly how I imagined Kate with Taggle and the town seems perfectly right.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and for anyone who's searching a new kind of book, read this one because you won't be disappointed. Erin Bow has created a great book with characters and a plot that bring back memories of being a little kid and listening to a fairey-tale being read at night before you drifted off to sleep.



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