Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > Watersmeet

Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott
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's review
Jan 14, 12

bookshelves: belton, creatures, epic-fantasy, fantasy, first-in-series, young-adult
Read from September 19 to October 29, 2011

I enjoyed this story although I had a bit of trouble getting into it. The story also ends a tad abruptly and I was disappointed with the cliche bit of the ending as well. I liked the dwarves, some of the other characters weren't very well drawn in the story. I suppose they didn't get enough screen time in this book and will get more in the next one. I didn't really notice the lack until afterwards when I was trying to remember details and couldn't. The atmosphere was great, the world building (aside from the idea of a religion that can keep that many parents killing slightly imperfect, in the eyes of their messiah, children) was excellent, and even the pacing (apart from the bit at the dwarves' dwelling) was pretty good until the battle scene.

The story is a bit violent with talk of biting off toes (and wearing them as necklaces), genocide, battles, abandoning babies, executing people for minor offenses, executing people for their appearance and other physical qualities among other things. This is also a moral lesson in that it is supposed to teach that racial prejudices are an extreme that can be devastating and lead to awful things, but the author doesn't keep with the lesson when she includes races of inherently evil beings. (Also the fairies being somewhat morally ambiguous and thus slightly aloof and mercenary doesn't help her point either). There isn't any real romance (view spoiler), and there isn't really any language either although people definitely speak harshly to and about each other.

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