Sorrow's KnotWritten by Erin Bow
(Arthur A. Levine Books - 10/29/2013)Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC (368 pages)
Source: Author or Agent
In the world of SORROW'S KNOT, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry, something deadly. Most of the people of this world live on the sunlit, treeless prairies. But a few carve out an uneasy living in the forest towns, keeping the dead at bay with wards made from magically knotted cords. The women who tie these knots are called binders. And Otter's mother, Willow, is one of the greatest binders her people have ever known.
But Willow does not wish for her daughter to lead the lonely, heavy life of a binder, so she chooses another as her apprentice. Otter is devastated by this choice, and what's more, it leaves her untrained when the village falls under attack. In a moment of desperation, Otter casts her first ward, and the results are disastrous. But now Otter may be her people's only hope against the shadows that threaten them. Will the challenge be too great for her? Or will she find a way to put the dead to rest once and for all?
FTC Disclosure: This book was provided to me from the author or publisher (Author or Agent), free of charge, with the understanding that my intention is to read it and provide feedback in the form of an honest review. I am not compensated in any way in exchange for positive reviews, and I don’t let anything other than the book's contents affect my opinions and review.
I am somewhat notorious for going into books completely blind, and I generally ignore author blurbs, so even though it was Laini Taylor’s endorsement that piqued my interest enough to go back and accept the review request for Sorrow’s Knot, I still didn’t really know what I was in for. And now? My only regret is not reading it sooner.
By chapter two, I was reeling with curiosity, awe, and delight. I was grinning at my Kindle, squirming with excitement as I savored every word. I went into the kitchen to tell my husband about it, as I often do.
[stextbox id=”kelley2″ image=”null”]”Oh my gosh, this book is so good.” (A phrase I often utter to him, unsurprisingly.)
He nodded appreciatively as he continued to make his sandwich. (A gesture he often does toward me, and YES he makes his own sandwiches.)
“Oh, wow,” he said, tying the bag of bread closed. “That’s good!”
“No… it’s like Laini Taylor, Victoria Schwab, Neil Gaiman — and Diana Wynne Jones — combined! It is so GOOD!”
He took a bite of his sandwich and nodded again, letting me know that he was excited for me.
(I snuck in another chapter while I waited for him to finish eating. I couldn’t help myself.)[/stextbox]
This book has incited a couple of rares for me: 1) I actually listened to — and agreed with — an endorsement from an author, and 2) I actually compared it to several other authors. I don’t like to do this, because it’s hard to do. Everyone’s tastes are different. But from the very beginning, I knew I had found something special in Sorrow’s Knot: it made me swell with the magic and awe, a familiar twinkle in my chest, that can only be coaxed into being by a master.
Like many readers, I often enjoy fiction for the fantasy, for the escape. I love diving into a completely different world and immersing myself in something new and different. This is an everyday activity for me, which is why the depth of my immersion into Sorrow’s Knot took me by surprise. It felt familiar, but wholly new, and I lost myself so completely in its pages that I didn’t know what to do with myself when I’d reached the end and realized there was no more.
I know: I haven’t included any sort of analysis or specifics in this review, but I don’t think I need to. Here is what I want you to know about Sorrow’s Knot:
- I have never wanted to hug a book so much as I did when finishing this one.
- I went out and bought the hardcover of Sorrow’s Knot before I was even 10% into it, because I already loved it that much.
- It may have just surpassed every other book in my favorites and moved to the top.
- It is beautiful, it is heartbreaking, it is magical, and it is human.
- If there is one book I would actually reread on a regular basis, it is this one.
You want my advice? Read this book. If you haven’t read Sorrow’s Knot: read it. If you have read it: read it again. And then, hug it to your chest and never let it go.