Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed
Date: September 24, 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.)
Reading time: three days
From GoodReads: The thirteenth child conceived of miserable Irish exiles, Katie O’Toole dreams of a different life. Little does she know that someone far away is dreaming of her. In 1747, savages raid her family home, and seventeen-year-old Katie is taken captive. Syawa and Hector have been searching for her, guided by Syawa’s dreams. A young Holyman, Syawa believes Katie is the subject of his Vision: the Creature of Fire and Ice, destined to bring a great gift to his people. Despite her flaming hair and ice-blue eyes, Katie is certain he is mistaken, but faced with returning to her family, she agrees to join them. She soon discovers that in order to fulfill Syawa’s Vision, she must first become his Spirit Keeper, embarking on an epic journey that will change her life—and heart—forever.
My review: Early American captivity narrative from the Pennsylvania frontier? I am so totally into this. An epic journey across early Historic Native America? Even better. My one wish is that the author would have included some kind of historical note. I think the historicity of this novel is, overall, pretty good, but there were some aspects I wondered about, among them being the likelihood of an epic journey literally across North America, but most especially how much any of the Native groups in the novel are based on specific tribes rather than being simply ahistorical, imagined amalgamations.
Kudos to the author for including Irish (and there were some hints that the dad was Scots-Irish, perhaps?), English, French, AND Spanish characters, though I felt like sometimes they were all rather stereotypically drawn.
The actual story. Oh my gosh. Did I mention the epic journey? It's so well-written, and the twists and action of the plot are perfectly worked in. The romance, also, is very well-developed and, I thought, tasteful - it develops quite naturally; no insta-love here! I loved how Katie is thrust into this new situation in which she must deal with so many foreign things, and she manages everything with a realistic mixture of success, failure, and confusion. The portrayal of the cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations that arise and just how different are Katie's world, experiences, and perceptions to those of her companions is so perfect. The only thing that irked me a bit towards the end was a shift in focus from the journey and the whole Spirit Keeper thing to Katie's relationship with another character; it seemed like Katie's personal transformation and some of the messages of the novel shifted along with this change. But perhaps a sequel is in the works in which some of the original themes return?
Giveaway: Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The Spirit Keeper to give away to a lucky winner! Contest is open to US/Canadian addresses only; ends December 10, 2013.
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