Saturday, November 6, 2010
I bought WATERSMEET by Ellen Jensen Abbott a while back since I was going to be meeting her. She was very sweet and very happy to meet her readers. I started the book before the signing and put it down a few chapters in. That was months ago. And I finally picked it back up the other day.
And please don't think that that has anything to do with the book. It's me...
I really enjoyed this story. I was a bit hesitant and worried that I wouldn't. Abisina leaves her home in search for Watersmeet (it took me a long time to figure out why this place was named Watersmeet, despite how obvious it was) and her father. In her home, she is an outcast because of her dark hair, and she is only saved because her mother is a great healer. The southern part of the country is a place where humans hate centaurs, dwarves, fauns... and even those of them that don't look like Vran. It is a place where differences are not tolerated. After Charach arrives, chaos begins, and Abisina's journey begins.
Now why was I worried that I would not enjoy the book? Abisina's journey begins by chapter three or four, and I've found that I'm not much a fan of high fantasy books about a big, long journey. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Along the way Abisina befriends dwarves, is put in danger by centaurs, and watches fauns dance. And when she finally reaches her destination, she learns things are not as she grew up believing.
There are a lot of similarities with this mythical world and our own. Abisina grew up in a place where differences aren't tolerated, and when she finds herself in a place where people of all colors, races, and species live as one, she has trouble accepting it. Children who are taught to hate, will hate. In addition to this message, WATERSMEET also teaches that eyes can be opened to acceptance.
This story was beautifully told, with a rich message everyone needs to hear. There were some twists and turns. Things I didn't expect. And things that I did expect, that didn't happen. I love how Ms Abbott left it open for a sequel. I really hope there's a sequel.
ETA: And this is what I get for not checking sooner. There is a sequel. Details here. Sadly, you can't find this book in stores, so click the first link in this post and order from Amazon, asap!
From her birth, Abisina has been outcast--for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother's status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina's life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.