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Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted October 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It seems that lately I've been reading books in which some (or

    It seems that lately I've been reading books in which some (or all) of the plot involves the subject of prejudice. Watersmeet was no exception. The lead character, Abisina, experiences it on a daily basis. Why, you may ask? It's because her dark hair and skin keep her from embodying the image of Vran (the man who spread his settlement into free territory and cast out the "monsters"). So, Abisina is treated as an outcast, her only refuge is her mother, the village healer. While her life certainly isn't desirable, it is bareable. Until one night she is forced to flee her village, leaving her mother behind.

    What I enjoyed most about this book (a 2009 debut) was the growth of the heroine. At the start of the book, Abisina hates "monsters", even though she has been treated as one throughout her life. A great example of this is shown by her relationship with Hoysta, a dwarf. Despite that fact that Hoysta nursed her back to health, Abisina still fears her. Over the course of the novel, however, Abisina is forced to confront the ideas she's been taught, and think of what loyalty and acceptance truely mean to her. Eventually she comes to the realization that not every non-human can be labelled "bad", just like every Vranian can't be called "good".

    Abbott's debut was an interesting read. There were times when I loathed Abisina for her callous treatment of non-human creatures, and other times I felt her fear (i.e when rogue centaurs are on the hunt). I think that may be why I liked the book so much. I was able to connect with the characters because they were flawed. I'm looking forward to the sequel, and can't wait to read more from this author.

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  • Posted October 9, 2012

    Very Well Done!

    This is one of those novels that I definitely think our young adult population should be reading as it addresses many important issues, such as discrimination, bullying, tolerance, and forgiveness. I certainly don’t expect to come across such phenomenal themes when I pick up a novel, but that’s exactly what I got in Abbott’s Watersmeet, and I really enjoyed it.

    Abisina has had a very hard life, and yet, for the most part, she is relatively normal. I would think that someone who goes through as much as she does, being outcast, jeered at, and occasionally beaten, would not only hate those who treat her so unfairly, but also hate the world. Abisina is a much stronger person than I am, because I don’t think I’d come out on top like she does, but even so, it’s a struggle for her, and I loved that Abbott made Abisina’s character so real. Yes, Abisina comes out on top, but she struggles with her feelings throughout the novel, and even though she was discriminated against by her own people, she easily becomes the discriminator when meeting others, such as dwarfs and centaurs. She’s not perfect, by any means, and though she did and said some things that I scoffed at, in retrospect, I’d probably do the exact same, as shameful as that may be. It is very easy for us to become what we hate, especially if we’ve experienced it our entire life (being bullied to becoming a bully, etc.). It’s just as easy for us to fear a certain thing or group if we’ve experienced unpleasantries because of it/them (such as a fear of all dogs because one bit us once upon a time), and I really loved the struggle that takes place throughout the novel as Abisina must come to terms with the idea that not all dwarfs, centaurs, etc., have ill will towards others.

    I really enjoyed the fantasy aspect of this novel as Abbott fleshes out the mythological creatures we don’t hear all that much about: centaurs, fauns, trolls, dwarfs, and fairies. Though we learn more about some than others, I was initially drawn to this novel because of the title—I wanted to know more about centaurs and Abbott definitely provided a lot of information. And, I love that she provided both sides of the coin for these creatures; not all are good, and not all are bad, which, again, goes back to the idea that we are all unique and prejudice against others is a terrible thing.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the journey Abisina embraks on in order to find her father and try to save her people from the evil that has taken over. At some points I did feel like the novel was a bit slow in terms of action, but when the action came, Abbott did a phenomenal job capturing the reader’s attention and bring it all to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Watersmeet Review...

    Hello, my fellow bookworms!

    When I first saw this book in the library, I actually thought it was going to be some romance book. But then I read the summary, and it sounded really good and full of fantasy.
    The book is packed with action, suspense, and surprises in every twist and turn. The author, Ellen Jensen Abbott, is REALLY great at describing fairy-tale creatures in her own point of view. I love the way you could feel the sadness, pain, joy, and happiness of Abisina, the main character, in every single page of this book.
    I definitely recommend reading this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012


    I loved this book! At first i was like cheese really! But as i read the book it got great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011


    As a reader you think wow tthis is horrible what is happening to the character. But by the end it all works out. Then you sometimes want the book to continue. Great read..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2011

    Great book very touching

    Was a very good read nothing questionable in the book nice fantasy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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