Book review of “Knife”

Posted at Jun 2, 2009 8:50 am

My daughters and I spent the weekend wrestling over a copy of 

 ‘s  Knife (or Faery Rebels in the US). The experience caused us to enact certain Holy Rules of Book-Stealing which included 1) Breaks from reading that are greater than 10 minutes constitute a surrendering of book to the next taker. 2) Bathroom breaks are allowed as long as reader shouts out the following words "I am going to the bathroom; no one better take my book."  No variations of the announcement are allowed. If the bathroom break is longer than fifteen minutes it must be explained by some form of indigestion; however, no proof is required.  3) Mom bought the book. She may change the rules at any moment.

When we were all finished we had our first- ever family book club discussion. We all agreed that 1) We loved it. 2) Knife was a better title than Faery Rebels 3) The character of Knife was the best portrayal of a faery anywhere that we’ve ever seen. 4) We couldn’t wait to read the sequel.  
I loved the faery expressions; one in particular stuck out as very clever: "That’s a very heavy acorn for such a little twig."  It must have been very challenging to write conversations for an imaginary people and tidbits like that really made them real to me.  
Warning: Spoilers ahead:
My own musings: I loved the interactions between Knife and her human, Paul, especially towards the end when they had become comfortable around eachother. Paul’s portion of the dialogue was written with a light-hearted humor which made him come alive as a character; he actually made me laugh out loud. The only detail which I found puzzling was his deliberate coldness towards his parents. His injury had made him hopeless, their attention to him was rather irksome and intrusive, and he was absolutely miserable. Later, after his suicide attempt, he explained to Knife that he wished his parents to be relieved by his death and so he had shunned them for months before his decision. But a parent’s love doesn’t work that way. You don’t stop mourning for your child because at one time he caused you pain.  I wondered if his interaction with Knife when he was young had changed him somehow, had given him a harder, narrower view of human emotions and bonds, and if he was on some level waiting for his Muse to come along and wake him up again. Paul does not begin to re-establish the relationship with his mother until Knife saves his life; but I think I would have liked to see a little more in that direction because I was still sorry for Beatrice at the end and a little critical of Paul.
But that is just a picky detail.
 On the whole- best children’s novel which I have read in years.

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