reviewed by TheMole (Gerry)
I had heard a lot of comments about this book so felt I really wanted to review it. Having read it I was most impressed. The plotting is very different to many other fantasies and although it involves 'death' and the after life as a central theme it doesn't resemble, plot wise, Sabriel and books like that.
Kate is living with her uncle when the Wardens and a Collector come, ostensibly looking for conscripts to the army as they have been at war for 50 years with the Continent. The Collector, Silas Dane, is actually looking for a Skilled one and Kate is that person.
Kate's life changes so fantastically it is beyond belief for her and her friend, Edgar.
The plot is fast moving and never stops, making it difficult to put down, and while there is much death and violence it is hardly distressing to readers of all ages. The plot twists and turns before coming, unfortunately, to a predictable fairy tale ending. The reason I use the word 'unfortunately' is because I feel this may reduce it's appeal to some older readers. Also some of the language does seem to appeal to younger readers more than the older. This is a shame because the plot and most of the plot thread is really most excellent. Having said all that I did still enjoy the book and I am sure most readers, certainly the younger ones, will be enthralled and await the rest of the trilogy with as much enthusiasm as any other book.
I would rate this book as a four star (****) read for adults but five star (*****) for the younger readers.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror, Young Adult