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(Darkbeast #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  610 ratings  ·  103 reviews
A girl’s love for her raven may put her life in jeopardy in this gripping tale.

In Keara’s world, every child has a darkbeast—a creature that takes dark emotions like anger, pride, and rebellion. Keara’s darkbeast is Caw, a raven, and Keara can be free of her worst feelings by transferring them to Caw. He is her constant companion, and they are magically bound to each other
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published (first published August 28th 2012)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  610 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Tamora Pierce
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya-yr
You know this story--here's a world in which everyone has their proper role to play, from the jobs they take up in life, to the animal companions that accompany them everywhere. But trust me, you don't know this world. You don't know it at all. And that's all I will tell you--you're going to have to read this book for yourself. I have been waiting more than a year for the sequel, and hopefully it will show up in the mail before I chew my nails off any more.


(that was supposed to be a th
Maria V. Snyder
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great read for young teens. Despite the title this is not a horror story - the cover art shows it better, but for some reason Goodreads hasn't updated the cover art. The Darkbeast is a very unique fantasy element and is a wonderful concept (I wish I had one). This book comes out at the end of August (I received an ARC from the author ;) Watch my blog in mid-August for an interview with Morgan about this book and for a chance to win a signed copy. ...more
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

In Keara's world, every newborn child is bound to a darkbeast, a magical animal that will be the child's constant companion, and with which its bound child can communicate through thought and speech. Over the years as a child grows, it will make offerings of dark emotions to its darkbeast, such as hate, fear, jealousy, or anger. In turn, the darkbeast absolves and teaches the child the error of its ways. This process of offering and absolution continues u
May 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
While the story itself was well-done, I found myself disturbed with the underlying messages this book is teaching the children reading it.

First off, you're an adult by the time you're twelve, or at least the girl in the story is, so you should be too. This view is teaching children that they don't need to respect their parents, or need their advice, council, or protection. In the story, it made it ok that Keara was disobedient to her mother. Afterall, she was almost an adult...

Second, the church
Michael K
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little part one book is a great sampling of encouraging young adult fiction. The concept of having a companion who accepts you through your faults--and holds them in aid of your success--is something akin to the little voice of your self-conscious. Beyond concept, the execution of this writing is equally as well-tended: The details of both environment and characters hold fast in times of confusion, aiding to this dramatic but wonderfully unexpected plot mapping.

This book is of a darker cas
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Darkbeast, by Morgan Keyes (Margaret K. McElderry Books, middle grade, August 28, 2012), is a book that you can judge by its lovely cover. At least, I myself was completely taken with it--the strong stance of the girl, the raven poised to fly, the hint of danger in the falling feathers....And I bet that any ten or eleven year old (or so) girl who's a fantasy reader will feel the same way.* Happily, the story inside lives up to its cover beautifully!

Keara has lived with her raven Caw since she wa
Dec 04, 2013 added it
Darkbeast began as a short story in the anthology Fantastic Companions, edited by Julie Czerneda. Which now has me thinking how cool it would be to try to do the same thing with my own story from that anthology… But that’s completely off topic, sorry. I blame this cold, which has turned my brain into overripe cauliflower today.

In Keyes’ story, the companions in question are darkbeasts, creatures given to each newborn by the gods to take the children’s negative feelings and impulses into themselv
Raven Anne
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I could NOT find "Darkbeast" by Morgan Keyes. I COULD however find "Rebel Flight" by Mindy Klasky. Seems to be the same book, so if you can't find the book, look for that one

Darkbeast Synopsis:
A girl’s love for her raven may put her life in jeopardy in this gripping tale.
In Keara’s world, every child has a darkbeast—a creature that takes dark emotions like anger, pride, and rebellion. Keara’s darkbeast is Caw, a raven, and Keara can be free of her worst feelin
Melissa Posten
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
In the grand tradition of Tamora Pierce, Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper (as well as the contemporary tradition of PLAIN KATE, UP AND DOWN THE SCRATCHY MOUNTAINS, and Shannon Hale) comes DARKBEAST. Keara lives in a world where babies are bound to a darkbeast, an animal companion whose purpose is to absorb all of Keara's darker emotions so that she can grow into adulthood as a better person. However, on the day she turns twelve, Keara is supposed to kill her darkbeast - a crow named Caw - and co ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A change of pace and setting from my usual reading material, but that just made it even more refreshing and enjoyable.

Keara is a headstrong girl, and like all children in her world she's bonded to an animal soon after birth. During childhood the animal absorbs all those excesses kids are prone to, from temper fits to disobedience and everything in between.

(Can I just say that if Darkbeasts could also induce kids to clean up their rooms, I'd put an order in for two right now.)

But onwards. Keara's
Nancy Kress
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A book I liked for young readers (age 10 and up): DARKBEAST, by Morgan Keyes, published by Simon & Schuster. As a former 4th-grade teacher, I sometimes read kid-lit. This one has an appealing protag, a richly drawn fantasy world, and an ending I didn't see coming. ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

Cross-posted from Nightjar's Jar of Books.

In a world where every child is bound at birth to a darkbeast - a creature that will take their faults through childhood, before being ritually killed - Keara is preparing to leave her childhood behind. But Caw, her darkbeast and her oldest friend, will not be an easy sacrifice to make.

Keara was a really great protagonist, and she - and the relationships she formed throughout the story - were by far the best things about Darkbeast. The book is structured

Madeline  [previously Vivien Mavis Ryder]

I was really impressed at the beginning. The imagination, the world really was painted well and maintained its overall appeal throughout the book.

And that's pretty much it. I can say that this book was a pretty good IDEA, but if the IDEA never really works out, you can't do anything with it.

Because it's the part that bothers me the most, I guess I have to skip to the end. It ends. And that's it. There is no more. They practically leave you hanging in the mi
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Keyes's debut fantasy is rich in detail, lore, and introduces readers to a strong, courageous heroine who isn't to stand for what she believes is right. With animal companions (I loved Caw), magic and a bit of danger, this book easily sweeps you into intriguing world. This is a book that reminded me of the stories I loved reading when I was a kid. One where the story telling easily engages you, and the vivid world building whisks you away to the world in which the story is set in. Targeted for u ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: pretty-covers
I actually really liked this book!

The premise of this book was very interesting to me and I really liked the plot. I found the main character, Keara, to be very relatable, and I liked her Darkbeast, Caw. I've heard this series is similar to Rebel Flight, but I've never read that book, so I don't know. Overall this book is pretty good and the cover is sooo pretty!
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
It was decent. I read it at least a year ago and forgot to add it.

Although I guess I didn't like it well enough to bother reading the sequel. And I don't think I'd bother rereading in order to do so.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
So irritated by the inaccurate portrayal of Caw the raven.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was great ! I loved the story it felt VERY original. I am looking to get the second book I wish there were more books in this series :)

Recommended !
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is an exact replica of if you mixed together His Dark Materials and The Girl Who Drank The Moon.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
was obsessed with this book when i was twelve.
Seregil of Rhiminee
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

I became interested in Morgan Keyes' Darkbeast when I saw it being mentioned in Lynn Flewelling's LiveJournal. The story seemed interesting and original to me, so I'm glad that I had a chance to read and review Darkbeast.

In my opinion Darkbeast is one of the most positive reading experiences of 2012. I enjoyed reading reading it, because it was a sophisticated, nuanced and complex story about a young girl who dared to disagree with the norms of the society.

May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally Reviewed on Amanda's Book Fix

In the world of Duodecia, children are bound to magical creatures known as darkbeasts shortly after birth. These beasts are physical manifestations of the children’s bad behavior and emotions and they relief the children of these faults so that they can become a successful adult. On a child’s twelfth birthday they are required by law to sacrifice their darkbeast in a coming-of-age ceremony. While most children are eager to be free of their beast and all th
The idea of a world where every person is bound to a spiritual animal isn’t new, and makes most of us think immediately of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. However, Megan King in her new book Darkbeast gives us another unique take on the concept.

In this world, these spirit animals are known as darkbeasts. Every child is bound to one at birth, and as they grow up, give them all of their failings - their fears, rebellions, angers, jealousies and despairs. Darkbeasts become embodiments
Kellee Moye
*In Darkbeast, we meet Keara, a young girl who has been bound to Caw, her raven darkbeast, since she was 12 days old; however, on her 12th birthday, it is her duty to slay Caw and to welcome adulthood. Keara, though, does not know if she can live without Caw and makes a decision that changes her life.

In the world of high fantasy, very rarely is there a middle grade novel that fits the definition, but Darkbeast is just that. Morgan Keyes has built a world that is unique filled with traditions an
Kathy Martin
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
DARKBEAST creates a rich and creative fantasy world filled with numerous gods and myths. Keara is from a small village, the youngest child of her widowed mother. At twelve days old she was bound to her darkbeast, a crow she calls Caw. She and Caw have been inseparable companions. Caw's purpose is to take all the destructive emotions from Keara so that she will grow into adulthood and fit in to the life that is planned for her. Then, on her twelfth birthday, Keara must sacrifice her darkbeast and ...more
John Young
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The premise of this book is what hooked me. Morgan Keyes creates a world in her novel, Darkbeast, in which all young people are literally assigned dark beasts. They could be frogs, snakes, rats, or as in the case of Keara, a raven. This creature is presented to them when they are twelve days old and it is intended to magically remove all their evil deeds and emotions like anger, pride, and jealousy. Keara names her darkbeast Caw, and when her twelfth birthday arrives she is faced with a problem. ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mg, childrens
I'm rather surprised this one didn't come across my desk last year--but very glad to discover it now. This is a delightful fantasy tale where one girl's love of her darkbeast causes her to challenge to order of her world. Our young protagonist lives in a world where children are bound to a darkbeast when they are named, and for twelve years, they are to give to their darkbeast all their failings and faults. But in their twelfth year they must kill their darkbeasts in order to become adults. But ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Darkbeast is the first book in a new fantasy series by Morgan Keyes. It takes place is a medieval type land ruled by a theocracy. Twelve gods are worshipped, each accountable for various phenomena, like the Olympians in Greek mythology. Every infant is magically bound to an animal known as a darkbeast. From infancy until their 12th birthday, the child will give all of their negative emotions and habits, like lying and disrespect, to their darkbeast. On a child’s 12th birthday a coming of age ce ...more
To be honest, this book snagged my attention purely from the striking/pretty cover as I was walking past the YA section at my local library. It sounded intriguing, so I packed it in my bag with about twenty pounds of other books that caught my eye similarly.

I was really intrigued especially by the worldbuilding, though I was left curious about some of the history and things - I am hoping that since this book has a sequel, I will find some of the further information I expected/wanted in that book
Ms. Yingling
Keara's pivotal birthday is upon her-- she will turn 12, making her an adult in her medievalish world, and she will need to kill Caw, her darkbeast. All children have companions that are bonded to them at birth and to whom they take all of their rebellion and bad qualities. Most children hate their darkbeasts, who tend to be rats, snakes, and toads, but Keara has always loved Caw, a crow, and finally decides that instead of killing him, they will run off together with the Travelers, roving actor ...more
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Morgan Keyes grew up in California, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota, accompanied by parents, a brother, a dog, and a cat. Also, there were books. Lots and lots of books.

Morgan started to keep a journal for a second-grade English class and never really stopped. Journal entries turned into short stories, and short stories turned into novels. In between, there were an awful lot of haikus and cinquains.

Other books in the series

Darkbeast (2 books)
  • Darkbeast Rebellion (Darkbeast, #2)

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