Book Review: Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Published: 1st September 2010

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 314

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Recommended Reading Age: 12+

Rating: 9/10


‘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 talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country 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 angry town, 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 she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.’

So I’ll admit, I bought this book purely because of the cover (isn’t it just lovely) and because its been a while since I read a really good children’s fantasy book that adults could equally enjoy.

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