by Erin Bow
Plain Kate is the orphaned daughter of a master wood carver. Quite plain-looking, hence her nickname, Kate tries to create a future for herself with her carving. But the townspeople are suspicious of her skill. When Kate is accused of being a witch and forced to leave her hometown, she makes a bargain with the magician Linay. She will sell him her shadow in return for supplies and her heart's true wish.
Thus begins a perilous journey filled with sickness, blood and rusalkas (ghosts). For Linay is using Kate's shadow to avenge a wrong, not caring who he hurts along the way. Kate must try to stop him, with help from a band of Roamers and a talking cat.
Erin Bow has crafted a magical fairy tale of incredible sorrow, anger and mystery. The atmosphere matches these emotions in the rain, fog and fear that pursues Kate and Taggle, her endearing talking cat protector. Be sure to have tissues handy when Taggle makes a heart-breaking sacrifice; a scene not suited for children under nine.
A wonderful read.