Saturday, 2 June 2012

Book review: The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl

The Shamer’s Daughter (The Shamer Chronicles, #1)
By Lene Kaaberbøl
Publish Date: October 3rd 2006 (originally in Danish on September 20th 2001)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks
Number of pages: 240
Purchase: Bookdepository

Goodreads’ description:
"It ought to be quite a show," said the squire, obviously enjoying the attention of the crowd. "The false Shamer has been convicted of witchcraft and treason and is to be executed tomorrow."I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I knew now where my mother was. Drakan had her. And tomorrow he would give her to the dragons.

Who dares look into the Shamer's eyes?

Dina has unwillingly inherited her mother's gift: the ability to elicit shamed confessions simply by looking into someone's eyes. To Dina, however, these powers are not a gift but a curse. Surrounded by hostility and fear, she longs for simple friendship. But when her mother is called to Dunark Castle to uncover the truth about a bloody triple murder, Dina must come to terms with her Shamer's eyes-or let her mother fall prey to the vicious and revolting dragons of Dunark. And one of those dragons is human.

My review:
Do you like fantasy, dragons and strong heroines? Yes? Then I highly recommend you read this book!

I first fell in love with series when I was about 9 years old. Dina Tonerre, our brave heroine, is only ten (almost eleven! as she adds) but was a fantastic role model for me at that time. At age ten she has more fire and backbone than the majority of today’s YA novel’s heroines. She’s smart, short tempered, flawed, gets scared but she doesn’t give up or let the adults handle the things.

The character development here is huge. To start with Dina feels sorry for herself because she has no friends who dare to look into her eyes. She curses her Shamer gift. Through the book she learns the powers of her gift and how to use them. She realizes that they’re a part of her. 

The book is fairly short and fast paced. I like that! Kaaberbøl tells an amazing story in 240 pages. I often get bored of slow paced book and unnecessary parts. That didn’t happen at all with this book. The world Kaaberbøl has created is pure magic. It's a medieval setting with castles and knights in a fictive world. I've never stumbled upon anything like Dina and her mothers gift. Refreshing!

The writing is very... mature for a children's book. I didn't have any problems understanding it when I was 9, but perhaps it will need some getting used to for someone. It fits the story of the book.

The primary target of the books is children but at age 17 I still adore this book and I’m sure I’ll re-read it many times. I recommend this book to all fantasy fans - children, teenagers and adults.
After you've read this book and are thirsting for more you can pick up the sequel

Read an excerpt of the book here!

5/5 happy stars from me!

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