RHIANNON by Vicki Grove


Age Range: 12 - 15
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Portions of this uneven medieval adventure are excellent, full of graceful language and description and deeply evocative of its Wessex setting across the bay from Wales. The main character, the almost-15-year-old Rhia, her healer mother Aigneis and her grandmother, who keeps to much of the older pagan ways, live on Clodaghcombe Bluff in a circle of tiny cottages. Aigneis is a healer who takes in those the village below can no longer care for: a mother and her twin babes dying of burns, a beautiful child numbstruck by a blow from an evil brother, a shipwrecked man who never speaks. A murder is committed in the forest, and its solution lies in these characters and more. Vivid descriptions of faerie, eerie and saintly vie with jarring language not appropriate for the 12th century—“mesmerize,” “by the book,” “this can’t be good.” Grove makes interesting use of the treatment of lepers, albinos and the disabled in telling her tale, which culminates in a Beltane Eve night that unmasks the murderer and reveals much else besides. (Historical fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-23633-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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