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Posted December 27, 2012
Posted July 9, 2012
Not what I would call a YA novel. Or perhaps it's only YA in the sense that the main character is only 14. Everything else in this book is just plain dark fantasy and I feel that giving it the YA tag may make a lot of people who would love this dark tale overlook it.
When I started "The Taint: Sorrow's Child" I wasn't sure quite what to think. The dark, twisted imagery that it begins with gave me the idea of the distinctly Gothic flavor of the book, but I wasn't sure if it was going to be my preferred flavor of dark. It was. Taylor constructs a world of magic that is, I feel, very unique. In fantasy, you tend to get extremes in the treatment of magic--it's either very minimal or it's exceptionally powerful. I think Taylor walks a strange middle road with the magic she presents in "Sorrow's Child," powerful, treated as commonplace by some and a taint by others, but also exists in "traditional" ideas--in spells and potions and herb-lore. It was very interesting because as a reader, you were never quite sure what to expect from it, where its limits lie. It kept you guessing as to what would be done next, how the power could be used and what, if any, ramifications there are. And centered in this world of uncertainty is Lilith.
Lilith is a character I could sink my teeth into--naive, confused, overwhelmed and in awe, yet intuitive, growing cautious, then proud. For me, character is paramount in a book and Lilith is a character I want more of. I want to know where she's going to go, what's going to happen to her, how she's going to learn to use her power. I wanted to know of her past, I want to be there with her in the future. She's a strong, interesting character, living in a brutal world where death and violence are common and she has a generally pragmatic approach to life. I really enjoyed learning about her, even if I was occasionally frustrated by her missing an apparently obvious connection.
There are a couple of places in building the world that I was a little confused on, but nothing serious enough to detract from the story as a whole and nothing I'm sure won't be explained in future books. There's also a couple places where the pace drags a bit, but overall, she does a good job of balancing. And the end--the end nothing but masterful. I reached the end and went "wait a minute... no, there's more. There's supposed to be more!" It's not exactly a cliffhanger, more an open ending. And it's one that has me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next installment. A great example of Gothic fantasy.
Posted July 3, 2012
‘Sorrow’s Child’, the first novel in ‘The Taint’ series, is a dark fairytale steeped in myth and magic. In a richly gothic setting, ‘Sorrow’s Child’ is a coming of age story and a tale of betrayal and bloody revenge.
On the Isle of Muin, one of the thirteen scattered Meda Isles, Lilith, a young orphan and an indentured servant, is found guilty of witchcraft and is condemned to hang…
This gothic fairy tale captured my interest immediately. The story starts with a hangman’s noose and journeys from there into a dark, magical world full of good, evil, mystery and craft. Richly written and well researched, Sorrow’s child is vivid with imagination and a sense of danger that will have you flipping the pages for more. Though the story did lag at times, the plot was so suspenseful I couldn’t stop reading, and by the end of the book, I wanted to start the next one immediately.
This book put me to sleep. Seriously. And on more than 1 occasion.
And what boggles me about that is after you finish the book and sit back and reflect on it, the synopsis isn’t bad.
Lilith, the novels main character, is saved from the gallows and sent to Branwen Tower as a sorcerers apprentice. She stumbles across the dark secrets of her heritage and quickly becomes aware that the sorcerer that she trusted in the beginning has his own agenda, which involves a couple of ounces of her bodily fluid.
Sounds intriguing right? Not really.
I admit that the author is well written, but the way the story was told it was dull and predictable. I found myself struggling to get through it, and was relieved that the last 20 pages or so were a dictionary and a…tree calendar
In short, this novel was not for me. Unless of course I need something to help me sleep at night