Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott (Marshall Cavendish Corp)
From birth Abisina has been an outcast because she doesn't have light skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. Only her mother's status as Vranille's only healer has saved the 14-year-old from being abandoned outside the village walls, prey to centaurs, dwarves, and worse. The arrival of the long-awaited Charach, the Deliverer, is a disaster. He incites the community to slaughter the outcasts, Abisina's mother is killed, and the teen barely escapes. Armed with her mother's necklace and not much else, the girl heads off to find Watersmeet, and, hopefully, her father. She encounters a plethora of otherworldly creatures, becomes the reluctant traveling companion of a dwarf, loses a toe to evil centaurs, and finally makes it to Watersmeet, where creatures of all kinds live in harmony. She meets her father, who is much more than she could have ever imagined, and reluctantly participates in the battle to save the world from Charach. While there isn't anything particularly new here, this book has a positive message of tolerance and acceptance, and the ending, while abrupt, is ultimately satisfying and leaves the door open for a sequel.
I loved this book. It’s a great story with lots of action and adventure. Girls will like it because Abisina is a lot like them, unsure of their place in the world and unsure of what power and skills they possess. It also teaches about prejudice and how to overcome it and truly see the person inside and forget about their faults. There are fairies, trolls, centaurs, shape shifters and the writing is excellent and I can’t wait for the sequel. All girls from 11 and up will enjoy this book and I highly recommend it.
I borrowed this book from my local library.