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Spindle and Dagger

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This rich literary novel follows Elen, who must live a precarious lie in order to survive among the medieval Welsh warband that killed her family.

Wales, 1109. Three years ago, a warband raided Elen’s home. Her baby sister could not escape the flames. Her older sister fought back and almost killed the warband’s leader, Owain ap Cadwgan, before being killed herself. Despite
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
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A YA novel set in 12th century Wales?!?! Sign me up

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Emma
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
Wales, 1109: When Elen's home was raided by a warband three years ago her younger sister died in the ensuing fires. Her older sister was cut down just short of killing the warband's leader, Owain ap Cadwgan. Despite the violence and her own sexual assault, Elen survived, healing Owain ap Cadwgan's wounds and weaving a tale of protection.

She tells all who will listen that Owain ap Cadwgan cannot be killed--not by blade, blow, or poison--so long as Saint Elen protects him, so long as he keeps her
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Kayla (krakentoagoodbook)
I won an ARC of Spindle and Dagger in a giveaway from the author - thank you! All opinions are my own.

Spindle and Dagger is a YA historical fiction novel where the setting and the writing both remind me of Juliet Marillier's books. The book begins after Elen's home was raided and her family killed (we're given more details about this event throughout the book). Elen survived the raid by healing Owain, the leader of the warband. As part of this healing, she pretended that Saint Elen helped him
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Erik
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A testament to good writing is that you feel a genuine empathy and attachment to the characters. You get upset when bad things happen to them and you feel joy when things go well. That is how I felt regarding the main characters in J. Anderson Coats new novel “Spindle and Dagger”. Set in 11th century Wales, the story follows Elen a Welsh peasant whose family a few years before had been slaughtered in front of her by the soldiers of a Welsh Prince. She herself is then raped by the same soldiers ...more
Jada Schaffer
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little slow in places with a fairly simplistic plot, but a great work if historical fiction. I don't read much in this genre, but I couldn't turn down a Welsh story of thievery and kings. Honestly the hardest part was making sense of the names. One of these days I'm gonna learn enough Welsh that I can read this and not butcher the pronunciation.
Tânia
This book reminds me so much of Juliet Marillier, who I love with all my heart, so, of course, I'm excited about it.

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Sara
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed this! it did such a good job of communicating just how vulnerable these women were, and all the things they had to do to survive. my heart broke for Elen but she was such a strong and empathetic protagonist.
Kyle
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spindle and Dagger presents the reader with a very unflattering look at Wales in 1109. This book is steeped in rich historical depth with a very interesting cast of characters. Overall, this is a very good and fascinating read.
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J. Anderson Coats has received two Junior Library Guild awards, two Washington State Book Awards, and earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, the Horn Book Review, and Shelf Awareness. Her newest book is The Green Children of Woolpit, a creepy middle-grade fantasy inspired by real historical events. She is also the author of R is for Rebel, The Many Reflections of Miss Jane ...more