Book Review by Aarene Storms: Plain Kate

Monday, January 31, 2011

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Kate's beloved father is a woodcarver, and she learns the trade from him. Although she is too young to be his apprentice, she shows remarkable talent for carving the magical objarka that people wanted to buy for luck...until the day that her father dies of the sickness they call the "witch's fever." Then, despite her skill, almost nobody wants to buy a lucky charm from Kate.

She seems destined to starve--or worse, for the villagers are beginning to think they should blame Kate for the witch's fever--when a strange man with magical powers offers Kate a bargain: he will take her shadow, and she will gain escape from the town and her dearest wish. She makes the deal, and begins her amazing adventure.

Plain Kate is a likable character, but the scene-stealer in this book is Taggle, the cat who is enchanted into speech. Taggle is funny, clever, selfish, vain, and tremendous--in short, he is no ordinary kitty, but rather a cat that TS Eliot would welcome into his book of poetry.

Those who love magic and those who love cats will be unable to resist this book. No cussing, no kissing, some magic, some blood, and more than a few tears.

Highly recommended for readers 12 to adult.


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