Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 89
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
Picture Books

2005 Stand-outs
2004 Stand-outs
    Previous Book
    Next Book

2003 Stand-outs
2002 Stand-outs
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers
Book Discussion Forum

About Me
Contact Me
Make a Donation

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


****The Shamer's Daughter

Book One of The Shamer Chronicles

by Lene Kaaberbol

Reviewed December 20, 2004.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2004.  Originally published in Danish in 2000.  235 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF KAA).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #6, Fantasy for Young Adults

Many fantasy books have used the idea of a talisman telling the truth about a person.  For example, the one who grasps the Sword of Shannara must face all the truth about himself.  Only a hero can do that.  What if that power resided, not in a talisman, but in a person?

Dina is upset that she is inheriting her mother’s gift.  Now no one at the village, and none of her former playmates, dares to look her in the eyes.  Then a man comes to the village from a big city, asking for her mother.  She’s wanted at a trial, to help discover the truth about a horrible murder.

Later another man comes, saying Dina’s mother is asking for her.  She thinks she’s finally going to be allowed to help her mother in her work.  Of course she believes the man, since he can look her in the eyes without flinching.  Dina has been taught that only someone very good can do that.  She doesn’t realize yet that there’s another type who can do that, someone totally without conscience.

This is a wonderfully crafted book.  We know from the first sentence that Dina’s going to have trouble with dragons.  She says, “Strictly speaking, it wasn’t really Cilla’s fault that I was bitten by a dragon.”  When she first walks safely past the dragons and sees one instantly devour a goat, we shudder.  The danger from dragons builds, culminating in her mother being scheduled for the horrible execution of being fed to the dragons.

Here’s another book I intended to dip into, but ended up devouring the whole thing almost like a dragon devouring a goat.  I’m excited about the title statement that calls it Book One of The Shamer Chronicles.  Indeed, some threads are left hanging, and justice isn’t done yet.  I can hardly wait to find out what happens next.

This is a well-written fantasy novel based on an original idea and surrounded with suspense.

Review of another book by Lene Kaaberbol:
The Shamer's Signet

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-