**Plain Kate-- Erin Bow

Release Date: September 1st, 2010
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Pages: 314
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
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.
Review: If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be darling.

Plain Kate was a breath of fresh air. It has been so long since I've read a book that was just so... magnificent. It's light, and airy, but is by NO means froth. Each page made my heart wrench! Kate's life is just so sad. And yet there is always a glimmer of hope.

There's a whole world contained in these 300-odd pages. One with twists and turns and unexpected surprises. Full of magic, and love, and hate, and suspicion. And the ending was both satisfying, and a tear-jerker (seriously, I teared up).

Erin bow has a fantastic ability to carve out characters that live and breath, and a story powerful enough to contain them. She has resurrected the lost art of the stand-alone novel.

Plain Kate, you are plain wonderful.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.


  1. I completely agree with you about PLAIN KATE-it's such a beautiful book! Great review :)

  2. I have this one in my bookshelf to read. I might have to move it up higher in the list.

  3. I loved this one too. It was such a unique and interesting story. Great Review!


  4. Yay, glad you liked this one. It's a really good debut novel and I look forward to reading more of Erin Bow's work.

  5. I really need to read this one. Thanks for the review!

  6. Sounds like such a great read! I think I'm going to add this on to the list!

  7. I loved this book. Such beautiful language!


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