Title/Author: Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
Publisher/Date published: Arthur A. Levine Books, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Goodreads summary: In the world of Sorrow’s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders.
Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She’s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow’s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she’s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants.
This book took my breath away. Seriously. And I don't say this lightly, so pay close attention!
I've always, always loved fairytales. I used to make my mom read them to me as a kid and after I learned to read myself, I devoured the whole book. And I still love them. So when I tell you that Sorrow's Know reminded me of a fairytale, I'm giving it one of my highest forms of praise. It actually reminded me of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, and I LOVED that book! There's a similar quality to it that I can't quite put my finger on.
The ease with which the story flows was AMAZING! I just wanted to live in the moment and slow down and really appreciate the storytelling, but at the same time I wanted to find out WHAT HAPPENED NEXT! I loved that the power of stories is explored and appreciated!
And there are some amazing characters for me to love! Otter, our main character, is a girl that I just want to hug tight and make everything alright for. She has two amazing friends: Cricket, who is a storyteller and if he hadn't been amazing in other ways, I'd have loved him just for that; and Kestrel, who is strong and loyal and a true friend. I would have wanted these three to be my friends, as young as they are, they are good people.
But this isn't a Disney-like fairytale. It's dark and hard things happen and the White Hands are SO CREEPY! White Hands sort of reminded me of zombies, and I HATE zombies, but the White Hands didn't freak me out as much. Mostly because they don't eat brains, which is a bonus point for any creature. And because this is more like the original Grimm's fairytales, people do actually die. And I teared up! It was unexpected and I was so hoping everything would be alright and then it wasn't! And I'm still mourning...
There's a little bit of romance mixed into the story, towards the end. And while I'm a big fan of all the kissing usually, I didn't miss it here. The romance that was in it fit into the storyline and I was happy with it and with the love interest!
I could easily imagine myself going on more adventures with Otter, because there are exciting sounding places in her world that we haven't seen, but I saw that Erin Bow mentioned on Twitter that she thinks of Sorrow's Knot as a standalone. And that works too, the story is wrapped up. But I can't help wishing for more ;)
Stories like this are my kind of stories. Dark, fairytale-like and utterly entrancing! If you're looking for a perfect Halloween read, this is it! And even if you're not, just go and read it anyway!
My rating: 5 stars
Made me crave: chicken madras (my comfort food)