Review of Wood Angel by Erin Bow

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.


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There was only ever two books that made me cry - Before I Die by Jenny Downham and the Harry Potter book where Dumbledore dies. Now, there's a third. I'm not sure how to write a review that's fitting for a such an amazing book but heck, I'll try.

Wood Angel is told like a fairy tale and I quickly fell in love with the writing. It's the sort of writing that I lose myself comepletely in and can imagine everthing so easily, it's almost as if I'm there. The story is either set in the past, or in a different world, or both (I'm guessing both), in a world that fears Witchcraft as well as accepting it. Witch burnings are a common thing for Kate, who is accused of being a Witch often, due to her beautiful carvings. Knowing she has to get away from the town where she grows up, she strikes a bargain with a man who will change her life forever.

The Roamers were an interesting bunch and I wish Plain Kate could have stayed with them longer. I particularly liked Drina and Daj, who both warmed to Kate quickly and made her feel at home. Of course, my favourite character was Taggle, who's everything you expect a talking cat to be and more! He's the perfect companion for Kate, getting her out of quite a few scrapes - and getting her in them - all the while with his mind on food. That cat eats a lot.

It was nice to escape for a while into this fantasy world, with no love triangles or messy relationships to worry about. Just a beautiful fairy tale about a girl, a talking cat and many adventures. And carving.

Note: As much as I love you Chicken House, whoever chose the title and cover of this book needs a slap on the wrist. I don't find the cover appealing as it's not very original and I have no idea why the title is called Wood Angel. I actually thought I would end up reading about fairies when I started this. I will be buying Plain Kate, the US edition (with a beautiful cover) when I can! This doesn't affect my rating in any way.

5/5

Received free from Chicken House in exchange for an honest review

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