Cashore, Kristin


(1) YA Cashore returns to the world of Graceling (rev. 11/08), Fire (rev 9/09), and Bitterblue (rev. 5/12) for the first time in some years and introduces Winterkeep, a nation distinctive for its higher education, democratic government, and telepathic foxes and seal-like "silbercows." When two of Queen Bitterblue's envoys vanish there, Bitterblue, her spy Hava, and her friend Giddon make the sea voyage to Winterkeep--ostensibly on a diplomatic visit, but really to investigate the envoys' disappearance. A catastrophic accident drastically changes their mission. But this is also the story of Lovisa Cavenda, teenage daughter of two wealthy politicians from Winterkeep's opposing parties. Under the shadow of her domineering mother, Lovisa has often had to bury her anger, intelligence, and deep love for her siblings; but, always an investigator, she now uncovers a secret that sets her free and utterly alters her sense of purpose. Delicately, inexorably plotted, this is a captivating novel of action and ideas (a two-party democracy motivated by wealth; the diverse interdependence of humans and other creatures; the ethical challenge of lucrative but environmentally filthy resources; the compromises of statesmanship), an accomplishment all the more admirable in that Cashore achieves it largely through characterization. The warmth of relationships (even testy relationships) suffuses the story, and Cashore depicts Lovisa's hurt and emergent healing with an abundant compassion that reaches out to readers and to the complex, compromised world in which they find themselves.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

This coverage is free for all visitors. Your support makes this possible.

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.