By author: Holly Bennett
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: April/01/2010
I’ve always enjoyed the works of author Holly Bennett, and found that this new novel did not disappoint!
Shapeshifter…ummm…the word alone just intrigues the mind….and leads into a world of magic that is reminiscent of Celtic folklore and ancient tales. This is the heartbreaking turbulent story of a girl who shape shifts into a deer in order to escape the relentless pursuit of a malevolent and yet powerful sorcerer.
Bennett has truly intertwined and captured the lore, mystic and magic of Ireland and reached far back into the human psyche where the lines were blurred between mortal and immortality. Sive is one of those ‘immortals’ who not only can ‘shapeshift’ but is gifted with a special unquie talent of ‘Song’. Her ‘singing’ is not of the ordinary and it is this gift that brings her to the attention of Far Doirche, a sorcerer who first tries to marry Sive. When this fails he begins an all out attempt to enthrall her to do his bidding. Surrounded by courageous family and friends, Sive manages to escape for a time by slipping past the boundaries of her world and into the world of mortals. Here she finds temporary refuge by taking a mortal form and living within a protective circle that allows her to even become a mother. Her protective instincts have her sacrificing herself to Far Doirche’s enchantment and thus begins her agonizing psychological torment. Salvation arrives in the quise of her son, but have the anguish and distress of being in the sorcerer’s thrall prove to be to much?
Bennet’s use of different perspectives in the narration of this well told fantasy tale, makes clever use of Irish lore, culture, geography and language. What is also useful to readers at the end of the novel , is the pronounciation guide in the names and places used, and another version of the legend of Sive.
Interest Level: strong Junior readers/ Intermediate/ Senior
Genre: Myths and legends; Magic; Fantasy
Who would love this book? Any reader interested in the folktales, legends of Ireland.