Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Plain Kate is the orphaned daughter of a master woodcarver, and a skilled woodcarver herself. She lives in the town of Samilae, whose inhabitants are a superstitious lot; when the crops fail or disease strikes, they cast around for someone to blame. A Roamer (Rom), perhaps. A person with a deformity. Or, maybe, someone with a skill they think is uncanny. An enigmatic stranger arrives in Samilae with a terrible plan, and vulnerable Kate is just the right person to serve as the linchpin in it. He frames her for witchcraft, then offers to help her escape… for a price.
Witch hunts, prejudice, diabolical bargains… Plain Kate is a much darker book than you might expect based on the jaunty cover art. When you do reach the roof-walking scene, you’ll recognize it immediately, but you might be surprised at the dire circumstances that surround it! Yet it’s not without its share of brig... Read More
Erin BowErin Bow studied particle physics in university, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Lucky for us, she then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her writing! Her poetry has won a CBC Literary Award, among others. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Read the first chapter of Plain Kate at Erin Bow’s website.
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Sorrow’s Knot — (2013) Publisher: From the acclaimed author of PLAIN KATE, a new novel about what lurks in the shadows, and how to put it to rest… In the world of SORROW’S KNOT, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry, something deadly. Most of the people of this world live on the sunlit, treeless prairies. But a few carve out an uneasy living in the forest towns, keeping the dead at bay with wards made from magically knotted cords. The women who tie these knots are called binders. And Otter’s mother, Willow, is one of the greatest binders her people have ever known. But Willow does not wish for her daughter to lead the lonely, heavy life of a binder, so she chooses another as her apprentice. Otter is devastated by this choice, and what’s more, it leaves her untrained when the village falls under attack. In a moment of desperation, Otter casts her first ward, and the results are disastrous. But now Otter may be her people’s only hope against the shadows that threaten them. Will the challenge be too great for her? Or will she find a way to put the dead to rest once and for all?
Here's another installment of FanLit Asks. Instead of asking one author several questions, we’ve asked several authors just one question. Please leave a comment or suggest a question for us to ask in the future. We’ll choose one commenter to win a copy of Jack Vance's The Eyes of the Overworld(one of my favorites!) on audio CDs (or, if you've got bad taste, something else from our stacks).
Question: Which speculative fiction writer has had the greatest influence on your own writing style and what, specifically, do you find most inspirational about that writer’s style?
Alex Bell: Definitely Terry Pratchett. His Discworld novels got me... Read More