Monday, October 16, 2006


by Rafe Martin

A year or two ago I really enjoyed the Sevenwaters trilogy by Juliet Marillier, which is based on the fairytale about the six brothers turned into swans and their sister who tries to reverse the spell by weaving shirts for them out of starwort and nettles while not speaking, laughing, or crying until she was done. So I was rather excited when I came across this book about the youngest brother, who becomes human again but still has one wing instead of an arm because his sister couldn't finish the last shirt.

As it turns out, the character in this book is not quite as tortured and mysterious as I had hoped, as I expected from the way he was in the trilogy. At least part of the problem is the loss of complexity inherent in the young-adult formula — and, omigod, is this book formulaic! Disappointing overall, amateurish and clumsy at times, a great concept poorly executed.

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