Sorrow's Knot (Hardcover)

By Erin Bow

Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545166669, 352pp.

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

At the very edge of the world live the Shadowed People. And with them live the dead.



There, in the village of Westmost, Otter is born to power. She is the proud daughter of Willow, the greatest binder of the dead in generations. It will be Otter’s job someday to tie the knots of the ward, the only thing that keeps the living safe.



Kestrel is training to be a ranger, one of the brave women who venture into the forest to gather whatever the Shadowed People can’t live without and to fight off whatever dark threat might slip through the ward’s defenses.



And Cricket wants to be a storyteller -- already he shows the knack, the ear -- and already he knows dangerous secrets.

But something is very wrong at the edge of the world. Willow’s power seems to be turning inside out. The ward is in danger of falling. And lurking in the shadows, hungry, is a White Hand, the most dangerous of the dead, whose very touch means madness, and worse.



Suspenseful, eerie, and beautifully imagined.


About the Author

Erin Bow was born in the Midwest and studied particle physics in college, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. She then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her love of writing. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband James and their two daughters. Erin Bow can be visited online at www.erinbow.com.


Praise For Sorrow's Knot

Praise for Sorrow's Knot



Winner of the 2014 Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy



A Kirkus Best Book of the Year



"A winner. A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review



"Bow displays the patient, rhythmic pace of a seasoned storyteller, and the spare elegance of her prose manages to inspire both chills and tears as the tale requires.... Dark but ultimately hopeful, this quiet fantasy will leave its mark on readers and have them contemplating shadows in a whole new way." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review



"Bow's background in science is evident in her Northern American setting; everything from the botany to the zoology feels authentic. Her prose is painterly. . . Readers will enjoy watching her discover that 'the world was larger than we knew.'" -- Publishers Weekly



"Readers of suspense will love the dark tension of the story line, an ebb and flow that carries through to the very end." -- School Library Journal





"Grief beats at the heart of adolescence in this fantasy version of North America.

For the free women of the forest, death is a complex, dangerous thing: The dead are bound, and some rise again as White Hands, whose touch brings madness and transformation. Bow’s lyrical writing, which beats like the storyteller’s drum Cricket and, later, Orca wield, tells a story both specific and timeless. The conflict between tradition and change, the tensions between mothers and daughters, and the journey west (itself both physical and metaphorical) all play a role. Within the grand thematic scope is a simpler story, reminiscent of the timeless hero’s journey: Otter, the binder’s daughter, untrained and called upon to face great threats, must use the tools of tradition and forbidden knowledge (a secret story echoes throughout the novel) to remake the world. Add to that epic scope two love stories, a genuine portrait of friendship, a nuanced exploration of loss and letting go, and a fine tracery of humor as well as plenty of tears, and you have a winner.

A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed. " - Kirkus reviews


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Starred Review
At the edge of Bow’s fantasy world stands Westmost, a small village of women who bind the souls of the dead and secure the knots of the ward to protect the living from the voracious White Hands, shadowy creatures whose mark means certain death. As the daughter of the most powerful binder in generations, Otter is next in line to inherit the power and responsibility of binding the dead, but one awful night changes all that when she’s cast out by her mother. Otter finds solace with her friends, Kestrel, a ranger, and Cricket, an apprentice storyteller, until it becomes clear that her mother’s power is no longer protecting Westmost but threatening it. As in her previous work, Plain Kate (BCCB 2/10), Bow displays the patient, rhythmic pace of a seasoned storyteller, and the spare elegance of her prose manages to inspire both chills and tears as the tale requires. Ruled by tradition and overshadowed by death, the snowed-in village of Westmost makes an evocative setting for three teens to wrestle with their fate, and the details of the vaguely North American, pre-industrial world are immersive without being overwhelming. The heart of this story, however, lies with Otter and her friends and their efforts to come to terms with the harsh realities of adulthood, the necessity of grief and mourning, and their realization that sometimes love does not translate into salvation. Dark but ultimately hopeful, this quiet fantasy will leave its mark on readers and have them contemplating shadows in a whole new way. 


Praise for SORROW'S KNOT

A KIRKUS Best Book of the Year

*"A winner. A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

*"Bow displays the patient, rhythmic pace of a seasoned storyteller, and the spare elegance of her prose manages to inspire both chills and tears as the tale requires.... Dark but ultimately hopeful, this quiet fantasy will leave its mark on readers and have them contemplating shadows in a whole new way." -- BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS, starred review