The Dollmage

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Dollmage is a Red Deer Press title.

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Dollmage is a Red Deer Press title.

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Editorial Reviews

When the time comes for the Dollmage, the wise woman of Seekvalley, to find a replacement, she announces the upcoming birthday of her chosen successor. Much to the surprise of the village, two girls were born on that day. According to scripture, only one can learn the magic that builds the promise dolls for the people of the valley and keeps the valley safe. The Dollmage announces that Renoa will become the new Dollmage and gives Annakey a skewed doll with a knothole in it. As the girls grow older, however, Annakey continues to show amazing promise, whereas Renoa forgoes the training and dedication that is necessary to ensure the safety of the valley. Their actions bring the village to the brink of ruination, at which point the Dollmage finally faces the consequences of her actions. The story is told as a flashback by the Dollmage to persuade the villagers not to stone Annakey. The Dollmage's confession is not only Annakey's salvation but ultimately that of the whole village. This fast-paced story is driven by all-too-human failings—each character's actions are driven by human desires and weaknesses that must be forgiven before any resolution can be met. The strength of the story lies in the characters' motivations, which will appeal far beyond genre lines. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Red Deer Press, 196p,
— Betsy Fraser
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Between the first line, "My people, lay down your stones," and the last, "Remember me, and love me anyway," is a tightly plotted story of pride, jealousy, magic, passion, and regret. The Dollmage is the keeper of the village's stories, and as she makes the "dolls" of the townspeople's world, she shapes and defines their roles and lives. Leavitt unfolds her tale carefully, weaving other stories into and over it, bringing other villagers into sharp focus and making Seekvalley a well-defined place. She tells of four children born on one day, when her powers are slipping and she must choose a successor. As the years pass, she chooses the wild, lazy Renoa, who has the gift but no desire to help those around her. Annakey also has the gift, and she is kind and industrious. As the girls grow, Annakey's power grows stronger and stronger, until she mistakenly usurps the power of the Dollmage. She is betrayed by the jealous Renoa, raped and forced into a marriage promise by Areth, and denied her rights to justice because she reneges on her promise. The punishment for promise breaking is death. As the story reaches its conclusion, the village is overcome and ruined by wild animals and fire. When blame must be placed, all but two of the survivors, the Dollmage and Annakey's sweetheart, are ready to stone her. The ending, though surprising, fits neatly into the tale, without being too convenient and tidy. A book that is extraordinary for its characterizations and plot.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889952331
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/10/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 8.07 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Martine Leavittis an award-winning writer of critically acclaimed young adult fiction. Besides winning the prestigious Mr. Christie's Award and Benjamin Franklin Award, Martine's six previous titles have received numerous award nominations including the Governor General's Literary Award. Martine also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Vermont College and lives in High River,Alberta.

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted December 10, 2008

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