Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Safe-Keeper's Secret, by Sharon Shinn

If you're looking for a book that doesn't stray too far from the conventions most fantasy books seem to follow, yet isn't a clone of every other fantasy novel out there, this would be a good choice.

The world of The Safe-Keeper's Secret is only a step away from what could be reality. Magic is an inherent part of people's lives, but it is subtle. In fact most magic could be chalked up to chance or even differences in personality. For example, there are truth-tellers who always speak the truth. Nothing overly magical about that, except that they occasionally reveal the truth about things they could not possibly have known. The complement of the truth-teller is the safe-keeper, who listens to secrets of all kinds and keeps them secret for as long as they need to be kept.

Damiana, the safe-keeper of Tambleham village, has a doozie of a secret to keep – the identity of the baby dropped off in the middle of the night to be raised as her own child. You don't learn the truth until the very end of the book.

Overall the plot was reasonably good, but what really stood out for me was the setting. I enjoyed reading a fantasy book based on family dynamics rather than on epic travels through far away lands. In fact most of the story takes place in or near Damiana's cottage. You won't find any battles with dragons in this book's pages, but you will find a compelling coming of age story with an emphasis on people and relationships.

4 Stars
4 out of 5 Stars4 out of 5 Stars4 out of 5 Stars4 out of 5 Stars4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

Jettboy said...

I noticed your still into Fantasy books. My faves still remain the Sci Fi section. Your other book choices have me curious. Never knew there were so many on the subject of Autism.

By the way, what is your e-mail and (if you still have one) web page. Mail that info to melanath (at) for me. Nice to see you in the virtual world.