Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw (Wintercraft #1)

Title: Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw
Published: June 21st, 2001 by Greenwillow
Source: Library
Grade rate: B

Kate Winters isn’t who she thinks she is. Burned out of her family bookstore by a suspicious fire, she will be pursued across a country riddled by fear and war before she discovers the extent of her skill and her destiny. Her pursuers include Silas Dane—one of the most compelling villains since Rowling’s Professor Snape and Pullman’s Mrs. Coulter—and Edgar, a young man who worked at the bookshop and who seems to know much more about the secrets of Wintercraft (a mysterious book that has been in Kate’s family for generations; a book responsible for the disappearance of her parents years ago) than he lets on.

My Review

This novel was published in the UK last year under the name ‘Wintercraft’, which makes a lot more sense that ‘Shadowcry’.  This is a fantasy book with some mystery thrown in the mix for good measure.   I felt the story was original, even if the concepts were a little hard to grasp. 
The characters are very complex, each with their own agenda and strong personalities.  Kate comes across as an open-minded, practical young woman with a power that she neither understands nor wants.  Despite his cruelty and lack of remorse and empathy, Silas Dane was my favorite character.  He was product of an experiment gone badly and even if I didn’t like his methods, he had his own brand of honor.  Edgar was elusive and I hope we get to know him, and well as Artemis and Tom, better on the next installment.
‘Shadowcry’ is told from a third person point of view that is refreshing to see in YA.  The writing was a little slow at the beginning but it picked up at the end, and easy to read, and the plot was, as I said before, very original.  Ms. Burtenshaw is a brilliant writer and I am looking forward to more of her books.  One thing I didn’t like was the multiple attempts at escaping and the multiple times they got caught and / or separated.  It was a little irritating, but on the other hand, if someone was holding me against my will I know for sure I will do whatever it takes to gain my freedom and the freedom of my loved ones.  
Overall, an interesting read with an original story line.  I am looking forward to the sequel (‘Blackwatch’ in the UK.)
About the cover:  The cover was pretty, but other than the arcs, the architectural detail, and the air of mystery, I feel that the UK cover was probably a better fit for the story.

1 comment:

  1. I always find it interesting to compare UK titles with US ones. Shadowcry and Wintercraft are quite different. I wonder why they picked Shadowcry. Hmmm...

    Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)


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