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THE SAFE-KEEPER’S SECRET by Sharon Shinn Kirkus Star

THE SAFE-KEEPER’S SECRET

By Sharon Shinn

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 10th, 2004
ISBN: 0-670-05910-2
Publisher: Viking

In this lyrically written medieval fantasy, a Safe-Keeper in the village of Tambleham receives a newborn baby from a mysterious visitor, on the same night that she gives birth to a daughter. Safe-Keepers, found throughout the kingdom, listen to people’s secrets and “understand silence.” Damiana raises Fiona and Reed alone, but is part of a strong nurturing community made up of her sister, also a Safe-Keeper, Thomas the Truth-Teller, Elministra, a healer and herbalist with whom Fiona apprentices, and Isadora the Dream-Maker. In Shinn’s vividly imagined world, everyone has a part to play, from the Safe-Keeper to the Truth-Teller, from the midwife to the undertaker, and the supernatural aspects of secrets, truths, wishes are woven into the fabric of everyday life. As Fiona grows up, she struggles to balance her desire to be a Safe-Keeper with her passion for justice. Reed too searches for who he is, stirred by his unknown parentage. The ending, with its revelations of true identity and hints of romance, is quite satisfying. A compelling, richly layered tale. (Fantasy. 12+)