Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plain Kate

I picked up this book based on a brief description I read in my library's Wowbrary newsletter, followed by the glowing review I read about at Cat's book blog, Beyond Books.  (Thanks, Cat!) 

What an amazing experience this book is! I think it's my favorite fantasy novel that I've read since Kristen Cashore's Graceling.  It has an Eastern European, fairy-tale feel to it, with characters you will never forget, a fascinating magical system, and possibly the best cat ever to pad its way through a novel.  Taggle will steal your heart.

I hesitate to say too much about the plot, because it is definitely best to just jump in and go with it.  I will tell you that the heroine, Plain Kate, is an extraordinarily talented woodcarver, so skilled that, upon the death of her father, the townspeople find her carvings a little too uncanny.  When a plague befalls the town, she becomes an easy scapegoat to blame for the misfortune.  A stranger to the village singles her out, puts her in a position where she has no choice but to accept his help, paying a price for that help that turns out to have a greater impact than she could possibly imagine.  She and her beloved cat, Taggle, set forth on an unforgettable adventure, trying to set matters right.

Although this is marketed as a YA novel, it's one of those that will appeal to fantasy and fairytale lovers of all ages.  If you are in a reading slump, Plain Kate will set you back to rights, no doubt about it.  This is a powerful tale, beautifully written, and I highly recommend it.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2010)

Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: "I don’t know who has the power to get books nominated for fancy awards, but I want this book up on every book award nomination list in the world. I want this book to win copious amounts of awards for how brilliant it is."
Bookalicious:  "Sometimes it takes a simple fairy tale to show you what you have been missing in your reading for so long."
Lesley's Book Nook:   "It’s Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio and Little Red Riding-Hood as they were meant to be read, long before Disney got to them and wiped them clean of the grim horror that made them such powerful cautionary folk tales."

5 comments:

  1. I have already warned the author that if her next book makes me cry for 3 days after I finish it I am never going to speak with her again! :)

    I am so happy you enjoyed it. There is something in the story's simplicity that just makes it even more outstanding as a novel. I am certain it is my favourite book of 2010!

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  2. I heard the author read from this book in the fall and decided that I really need to get a copy. After reading your review, I must get this book, soon. Thanks.

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  3. Best since Graceling?? Wow, what a recommendation! I love a good fairy tale, so I'm off to the wishlist for sure!

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  4. I have seen such glowing reviews of this book! It looks amazing!

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  5. Cat - Yeah, I cried too. Do you think she'll write a sequel?

    Heather - Yes, you absolutely need to get to this one soon!

    Fyrefly - It is right up your alley. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

    Jenny - Oh, it is. You have to read it right away! :-)

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