Dina has her mother’s gift: the eyes of a Shamer.
Anyone who looks at her eyes can see all the bad things they’ve ever done–from childhood disobedience, to petty crimes…to murder. A Shamer’s job is to convict felons, to show them up for what they really are. To make them ashamed.
But Dina would rather have anything than the gift of a Shamer. She has no friends (no one can look her in the eyes) and no one to play with. Her little family lives secluded from the rest of the village, not fully trusted because of their mother’s Shamer gift. But the villagers still need her. Especially when, in faraway Dunark, the king is murdered.
And his son, Nicodemus, is found covered in the king’s blood, a knife still in his hand.
Why would Nico kill his own family? Why is Drakan, his cousin, so eager to have him convicted by the Shamer?
But Dina’s mother says Nico is innocent and Drakan takes matters in his own hands.
And that involves kidnapping Dina and making her face his dragons…
In My Opinion…
Author: Lene Kaaberbol
Genre: Young-Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars
It wasn’t the book cover that caught my attention–not the title, not the promising thinness of the book, or the blurb on the back. It was the Author’s Note.
I opened the book and began to read what the author had written about her book. The story behind her novel fascinated me–how she lived in Denmark, translated her own books to English, lived across the harbour from the royal residency and waved to the queen every morning. But I also love what she said about The Look.
“I think we learn the power of The Look when we are children, from the receiving end. My mother was a master at it. Exceedingly few of my childhood crimes went undetected — she could always look right through me when she wanted to. And when she scolded me, she would always insist that I look her in the eye. ‘Look at me!’ she would snap, as if that was part of the punishment. ‘Look at me when I’m talking to you!'”
The idea of “Shamer’s” caught my attention. The author didn’t stress any “magic” in her book, rather saying Shamers had a “gift”. Of course there are dragons, sword fights, beatings, excitement and danger — all written, in my opinion, in an engaging style. The first paragraph had a hook. I wanted to know what happened and that surprised me. I had never heard of this series before and I was very sceptical. But I can truthfully say I was impressed with the book.
The only negatives are the spattering of swear words and less-than-crucial emphasis on illegitimate children. I felt the latter was dwelt on to an extreme degree, and of course, swearing always brings lowers the standard of a book.
Other than that, this book gave me a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t dauntingly thick, the view of first-person made it easy to read and the story-line moved along fast.