Release Date: September 1, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
The drizzle had broken into patches as they walked. As Drina scooped up the pale sand, Kate found herself standing in the smudge of shadow cast by the deadfall. She had never before noticed the way shadows gave things weight, made them look heavy and real and connected to the ground. Without hers…
She edged into the light.
Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the ground, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true: No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.
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.
From the moment I read the premise to this book I had to read it. Then the beautiful cover was released and made me want it even more. I’m so thankful that it lived up to my high hopes. Erin Bow has spun a tale reminiscent of old world fairy tales. The world she creates in Plain Kate is detailed and flawless.
Plain Kate is about Kate Carver, who hasn’t had many breaks in life. She learned to carve before she could walk, and some would say this makes her a witch. In a land where witch burnings are common, Kate must do everything to go unnoticed. But when a white witch appears in town she must make a deal with him in order to not be burned. She traded her shadow, or her soul…
I was entranced in this book immediately. I would have finished it in one sitting if work wouldn’t have gotten in the way. The writing flowed like music and I wish the story would have just kept going. I could have read about Kate and Drina and Taggle for at least 100 more pages.
Every character in the book was unique and intriguing. Kate was a wonderfully brave main character. She was strong and pressed on long after I would have given up. The Roamers were an interesting bunch, and I wish we would have gotten to know more about them. Linay somehow managed to be creepy and sympathetic all at the same time. My favorite character, though, was Taggle. If you have a talking cat in your book you have won over my heart. Taggle is my favorite talking cat of all time! He says exactly what I think a talking cat would.
I guess you can tell that I loved Plain Kate. I honestly have no complaints. I loved it from page 2 and kept on loving it through the rest. I highly recommend this one. I will be reading anything that Erin Bow writes in the future!