Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

September 15, 2009

Frances Hardinge – Verdigris Deep

This book is difficult to describe. It’s about families, mostly, but not in the everything-is-a-metaphor-for-your-parents’-divorce sense so tiresomely common in children’s lit. There is a divorce, but it isn’t where we think it’s going to be, and the well spirit is just that.

It’s a book about learning to connect and to value friendships, and about forgiveness – about learning to tell what we, and each other, really want. The well spirit does some monstrous things, and gets described using some really grotesque imagery, but that doesn’t make her a monster to be opposed utterly in the way a less skilled writer might have done.

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