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13
4.1 out of 5 stars
Wood Angel
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2011
There was only ever two books that made me cry - Before I Die by Jenny Downham and the Harry Potter book where Dumbledore dies. Now, there's a third. I'm not sure how to write a review that's fitting for a such an amazing book but heck, I'll try.

Wood Angel is told like a fairy tale and I quickly fell in love with the writing. It's the sort of writing that I lose myself comepletely in and can imagine everthing so easily, it's almost as if I'm there. The story is either set in the past, or in a different world, or both (I'm guessing both), in a world that fears Witchcraft as well as accepting it. Witch burnings are a common thing for Kate, who is accused of being a Witch often, due to her beautiful carvings. Knowing she has to get away from the town where she grows up, she strikes a bargain with a man who will change her life forever.

The Roamers were an interesting bunch and I wish Plain Kate could have stayed with them longer. I particularly liked Drina and Daj, who both warmed to Kate quickly and made her feel at home. Of course, my favourite character was Taggle, who's everything you expect a talking cat to be and more! He's the perfect companion for Kate, getting her out of quite a few scrapes - and getting her in them - all the while with his mind on food. That cat eats a lot.

It was nice to escape for a while into this fantasy world, with no love triangles or messy relationships to worry about. Just a beautiful fairy tale about a girl, a talking cat and many adventures. And carving.

Note: As much as I love you Chicken House, whoever chose the title and cover of this book needs a slap on the wrist. I don't find the cover appealing as it's not very original and I have no idea why the title is called Wood Angel. I actually thought I would end up reading about fairies when I started this. I will be buying Plain Kate, the US edition (with a beautiful cover) when I can!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2011
This is such a beautiful book and would appeal to readers who have enjoyed Deerskin or[[ASIN:1904233074 Winter Rose.

Plain Kate (so called because of her undesireable appearance) is the daughter of a carver, and herself skilled in the craft. When an illness sweeps through the town, her father passes away and she is left destitute, living alone and unloved with her cat Taggle for company. One day an enigmatic albino stranger comes to town and from hence forward Kate's life changes forever.

The story has elements of folk-tales with Linay a pied piper type character, magic, mystery and of course a wonderful talking cat! Kate's tale is one of loss and sorrow, but also of hope and of friendships found in unlikely places. There is a sense of transformation as she grows in confidence and gains control of her own life.

I loved this book from the first page to the last (which made me cry by the way) and instantly wanted to re-read it once i'd finished. The characters are so well drawn - Kate is a plucky girl who is determined to survive, but nurses the deep sorrow of lonliness and rejection. Linay could be rather sinister and yet I wanted him to be healed of his own pain and loss.And, as for the cat Taggle - I have my own big silver tabby cat who is very much like Taggle - so I loved him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I got this book from the local library because I thought after reading the back page that it might be a nice little read. I was wrong it is a fabulous book it made me worry for the main character it made me smile it made me cry in buckets. I read this book in a day and can believe that just a relatively small novel could have such have such impact. You will enjoy this book if you like to read something imaginative, magical, touching and memorable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2012
bought this book for my 11 year old who loved it so much i thought i would also give it a go.... i wasnt dissapointed.... excellent read although the cover has nothing to do with the story.... recommend to 10+ age range but need to be confident readers....
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on 2 January 2013
I read this book when it was Plain Kate (US edition) and loved it so much I quoted for the cover. Erin Bow's beautifully written and imagined medieval fantasy has one of literature's finest girl heroes and finest cats as well. Hadn't realized it was released in the UK with a different title, or I would have thrust it on everyone I know. Buy it for a 9-14 year-old who adored Harry Potter but doesn't know what to read next. Highly recommended by a not-easily-satisfied reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2011
Wood Angel by Erin Bow is such a beautiful book. The cover alone would have tempted me to pick up this book, but the writing and the setting and the characters really came along and just stole my heart. This was by far the best book I've read in awhile as I thought the complexity of the characters was superb. A massive, massive thank you to Claire at Chicken House for providing me with this book for review!

It's been awhile since I was swept up into a fantasy world like the one that exists in Wood Angel. It was so comforting that it felt like coming home, reading these pages. Plain Kate lives with her father in a little village and they both have skill as carvers. It is a time when magic is feared and is blamed for a great many things, including the illness that sweeps the country and takes Kate's father away from her.

All on her own, Plain Kate relies on the generosity of her villagers and sleeps in the set of drawers at her father's old work-place. She is very vulnerable and isolated here, with only the company of her cat, Taggle. When a mysterious man arrives in the village, Plain Kate tries to resist the man's offer of a trade. But when the villagers begin to believe that Kate has magic, she is tricked into trading away her shadow to this man, Linay. Plain Kate leaves her village and in a bid to find a place where she belongs, she takes up with a band of Roamers who travel around the country. With the Roamers and a new friend, she begins to realise the extent of what it means to be without a shadow, and she decides to go on this terrible journey in order to set things right.

What I loved so much about Wood Angel is how magical everything is. Erin Bow writes so beautifully, with an almost sad tinge to everything after the loss of Kate's father. I love how all the characters aren't fully on either side of good and evil - but cross-over when it suits them. From a kindly Roamer who does unspeakable things after the loss of his family to Linay, the witch who has stolen Kate's shadow and is planning a great evil. I loved seeing these other sides to the character and with Kate in the middle trying to decide what she would and wouldn't do in order to follow her ideals and beliefs.

Kate's quest to find a place that she belongs and to surround herself with family or 'mira' was heartbreaking to me. She is without a family due to illness and cast out of her village because of the suspicions of being a witch. At every turn in the story I felt like weeping for Plain Kate. I really sympathised with her and wanted desperately for her to find a home. My favourite aspect of the novel by far? Taggle, Kate's cat! But I also really enjoyed the descriptions of Kate's carving.

This is such a beautiful, beautiful book and I will be highly recommending it for a long time to come. Buy it, read it, love it!
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on 2 May 2014
Loved this book it has everything tragedy hardship adventure and at last happiness reccomend it to all ages will be looking for some more by this author
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