Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Review: Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You know the feelings you get when you watch a Studio Ghibli film? The nostalgia, the butterflies in your stomach from the quaint magic. That's what this book feels like, I feel like I'm watching Howl's Moving Castle or something similar.
The story behind Darkbeast is that all children receive a darkbeast they day they are born, the beast is bound to them until they turn 12. Once they do, they hold a coming-of-age ceremony for the new adult where the person then proceeds to kill their darkbeast with their own hands as a sacrifice to the gods. Throughout childhood the darkbeast uses magic to collect the vices of the children, lying, cheating, bullying, etc.
The protagonist of the story however is different, she does not want to kill her darkbeast, she loves him like family, when other children hate theirs. So... She runs away from home to avoid being captured by the inquisitors for disobeying the gods.
I liked the childlike innocence of the protagonist, I liked watching her figure out her problems on her own. I liked how she put a genuine effort into thinking for herself.
I loved Caw! The last time I loved a talking animal so much was back when I read Plain Kate. Caw is great, he is like her wise teacher, with a touch of cynical humor. But he is also fallible, and just as scared as the protagonist. Something she realizes very quickly when she decides to venture the world on her own.
Also, there really is no romance. You do get to observe the protagonist work through the stages of friendship and belonging though.
This book will make you feel very nostalgic, I'm definitely going to be reading the next book.
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