ARC Review: Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

ARC Review: Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
ARC Review: Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

Sorrow's Knot

Written by Erin Bow
(Arthur A. Levine Books - 10/29/2013)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC (368 pages)
Source: Author or Agent
Rating: 5 Stars

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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.

My Thoughts

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.)

“It’s like… like Laini Taylor and Victoria Schwab — two of my favorite authors — combined!”

“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.

Read 25 comments

  1. Agh! You’re killing me with all of the name-dropping! I had this on hold at the library, but couldn’t get there in time to pick it up when it first released. I so wanted to read it. I was seeing so many great reviews for it, and the blurb made it sound like a brilliant premise. Beautifully written blurbs get me every time. They are what make me want to purchase a copy. I will definitely be checking this out very soon. I am moving next week, down the street from a library…. There will be a giant stack of books among a sea of boxes. A great site to see. =)

    • (Confession: I still haven’t read the blurb. Maybe I have some aversion to them? I’m weird. Nonetheless, I’m happy — and not surprised — that it was beautifully written and hooked you!) How awesome that you will be moving down the street from a library! I would be there all the time, if I had one so close! I hope you get Sorrow’s Knot soon!

  2. So what you’re saying is, I should read this? lol I also rarely read blurbs about books and just like to go in blind. I find it gives me less expectations for the book and so I enjoy it more. I’m laughing at your conversation with your husband, sometimes I have similar ones, except my husband does not make his own sandwiches.. :(

  3. Thanks for this review, Kelley! I have heard a lot of great things about this book but your review has definitely moved it to the top of my TBR list. (Also, the scene between you, your husband, and the sandwich was hilarious and definitely could have taken place at my own house!)

  4. For some reason this book cover just didn’t grab me so I completely past it by *fails* However, I have been seeing some amazing reviews along with this very impressive one, so I am convinced that I need to give it a try!

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