The Sower of Tales

Overview

All her life, Calantha has wanted only one thing: to apprentice with the Gatherer, and dedicate herself entirely to the Story Pods and the Tales. She dreams and muddles her way through her days, bumbling her chores and exasperating her mother. But when evening comes, and with it the Talemeet, Calantha comes to life. She is open and attentive to everything: the Gathering, the words of release, the Tale itself, and the harmony after, when the villagers, their worries put away for ...

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Overview

All her life, Calantha has wanted only one thing: to apprentice with the Gatherer, and dedicate herself entirely to the Story Pods and the Tales. She dreams and muddles her way through her days, bumbling her chores and exasperating her mother. But when evening comes, and with it the Talemeet, Calantha comes to life. She is open and attentive to everything: the Gathering, the words of release, the Tale itself, and the harmony after, when the villagers, their worries put away for a while, peacefully watch the seeds waft way.

And then something dreadful happens. In every field, in every ditch across the Plains where Story Pods used to grow, there is no new growth. Calantha is sickened, and not just by thinking about the end of the Tales. She can't stand that no one else seems to care: the threat from the northern king is worry enough, they believe. So she decides it's up to her to do what's necessary: to seek the legendary Sower of Tales, and find out what's really happening on the Plains.

In The Sower of Tales, Governor- General's Award-winning author Rachna Gilmore has created a fantastic world and a stirring adventure; and Calantha, impatient and stubborn, dreamy and single-minded is an entirely human heroine whose personal journey goes straight to the heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Calantha has one desire in life: to be a Gatherer of Pods. The story pods allow a skilled gatherer to regale an audience with tales that strengthen the spirit and nourish the soul. Lately, though, the pods seem to be scarcer and no new growth is occurring. What will happen when no pods and no stories remain? While pondering this disturbing development, Calantha is kidnapped and thus learns about a plot somehow involving the king's sorcerer, Odharan. After escaping, Calantha goes in search of the Sower of Tales to find out what ails the land. Accompanied by Phelan, a young musician, Calantha reaches the Sower of Tales only to find that an even more dangerous task awaits her. She must travel to the King's palace and find out what evil Odharan intends towards the pods, the land, and Calantha's people. The concept of the story pods adds another dimension to a traditional fantasy quest. Readers will enjoy following Calantha through this well-created world on her quests. 2005, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ages 10 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-The power of story to heal and give courage takes center stage in this fantasy. Calantha has aspirations to be a Gatherer of story pods that grow in the fields, and, when picked, release their stories to be experienced by the community. But something has gone wrong with the Essences, the pods stop growing, and soldiers from the neighboring kingdom are threatening the country. When Calantha goes in search of the Sower of the pod seeds, she becomes embroiled in dangerous political intrigue. It is ultimately the power of story itself that enables her to accomplish her mission of saving the seeds from corruption, and to understand that the community can survive without the pods, learning instead to tell the stories they have previously experienced. While the characters are clearly drawn, the overly dramatic writing impedes the narrative flow and detracts from its credibility. The premise is an appealing one, but the idea that an entire country's will to freedom is dependent on stories that are predominantly "lively tales" around folk themes is not entirely convincing. In addition, the relationship between the Sower and the plainsfolk, as well as the mechanism of sowing the tales, is not believable within the bounds of the fantasy. While the moral is laudable, the book takes readers on a very long road to get to that point. Some may wonder if it is worth the trip.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550415902
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/26/2007
  • Pages: 348
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachna Gilmore is the author of many critically-acclaimed books for adults and children. Her picture book A Screaming Kind of Day won the Governor General's Award for Text in 1999. The Sower of Tales is her first work of fantasy, but fans will recognize Ms Gilmore's sure hand in character and place here, as in all her novels. Her vividness and immediacy are the result of the way she works, which is to pay attention to the ideas that grab hold of her imagination and her heart, and don't let go.

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Read an Excerpt

"The Sower of Tales!" thought Calantha.
Xenyss's words came fast, "Yes. She knows how the Essence of the story pods is knotted into the heart of our existence; she will know what Odhran is after. Get the key from the Gatherer and go to the Eastern Mountains. Find the Sower of Tales. Make haste, Calantha, but be careful. Odhran must be trying to stop anyone from finding her."


Calantha's insides began to twist with panic.


"Be calm, child. I will keep a thread of mind tied to you, and try to send help along the way. You must find the Sower of Tales - she too may be in danger."


--from The Sower of Tales

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