Christina (Reading Extensively)'s Reviews > Cate of the Lost Colony

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein
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Aug 03, 2010

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bookshelves: historical, read2010, romance, ya
Read in July, 2010

I have been fascinated by the story of the lost colony of Roanoke since I was a teen so I was excited when I heard about this novel. The story starts out at the court of Queen Elizabeth but I felt that this part of the story moved much more slowly than the part that takes place in Roanoke. Once Cate is banished, the story became more interesting to me even though I enjoy Tudor history. Cate's life in Roanoke is vastly different from the life she enjoyed as a courtier even with all the gossip and backstabbing. The colonists are not really prepared for how hard life will be but Cate adapts pretty quickly. She becomes a leader and a voice of reason even though she is one of the youngest members of the colony. I admired Cate's attitude and the way she wasn't afraid to stand up to some really unpleasant people. The Cate we meet in England and the Cate who lives in Virginia are two very different people but the changes are believable. Cate was already displaying her intelligence and understanding while at court although she wasn't careful enough in her relationship with Ralegh.

The other main characters are Sir Walter Ralegh and Manteo, a Croatoan leader who is also Cate's other love interest. The chapters alternate between their point of view and Cate's. We hear from Sir Walter Ralegh through letters and poems. I did not always like this device because I found Ralegh's poetry annoying. I would rather have read the story from Cate's point of view alone although it was nice to see what was going on in England while the colonists were struggling. It explained the difficulties involved in obtaining supplies and funds to keep the colony going. The fates of courtiers depended on the whims of the monarch and it was very costly for Ralegh to found his colony and then to maintain it. His poems also showed that he still cared for Cate. Manteo's chapters showed the perspective of someone who was trying to avoid war and to bring about peace between the English and the Indians.

There are a lot of real historical figures and although we don't know much about the colonists I think the author did a good job in giving them imagined personalities. I think that Cate was a fantastic character and I was interested in reading about the colonists and the challenges they faced. No one knows what really happens to the lost members of the Roanoke Colony but Lisa Klein has imaginatively created her own version of their story.

Readalikes: Roanoke: The Lost Colony by Angela Elwell Hunt, Jamestown by Angela Elwell Hunt, The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley, The King's Rose by Alisa Libby, A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueline Kolosov
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