Monday, January 7, 2013

Watersmeet, by Ellen Jensen Abbott (fiction) - outcast, healer, in danger

book cover of Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott published by Marshall Cavendish and Amazon
Centaurs who collect human toes as souvenirs.
Obrium metal that only the dwarves can mine.
Settlers always moving into enemy lands, always at war.

Despite making the required sacrifices to Vran, there are still imperfect children born to Vranille village, doomed to be outcasts.
Amid grinding poverty, the outcasts are poorer still.
Among the outcasts, Abisina is most despised, her father unknown.

Look for Watersmeet (remember, the main action occurs where the waters meet) at your local library. Alas, your independent bookstore will probably not have this great fantasy, as Amazon Publishing acquired Marshall Cavendish Publishing's fiction books and many others in late 2011, reprinting this one in paperback in 2012.

Book info: Watersmeet / Ellen Jensen Abbott. Marshall Cavendish, 2009, hardback; Amazon Publishing, 2012, paperback. [author's blog] [publisher site] [author interview]

My Recommendation:  Outcast, always an outcast, fatherless Abisina with her different hair color, different skin color, barely tolerated in the tradition-bound outpost because of her mother’s healing skills, until a new leader comes to Vranille. Now, anyone with the slightest difference at the Ritual of Penance is outcast, and Charach decrees all the outcasts hunted to the death.

“Watersmeet,” says her mother, finally telling Abisina where she will find her father. Far away in the mountains, through the dread country where centaurs and dwarves capture humans for sport or for food.

As Charach leads the slaughter of outcasts, Abisina watches helplessly from the woods, retrieves her mother’s necklace from the ashes, then runs until she can go no further. Rescued by a mother and son, Abisina regains her strength and plans to head north, to Watersmeet. 

Will Charach allow her to escape from the lands of Vran unharmed? Can the young teen make it all the way to the fabled city of peace? After so many years, will her father truly be at Watersmeet?

Dark the nights, bitter the heart of Charach, growing the hope of Abisina to live free from fear in this stunning debut novel of a world where truths can be stranger than fables. (One of 6,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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