The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What a cool concept! The Shamer's Daughter follows eleven-year-old Dina, who is the daughter of something called a Shamer. Shamers' powers, which are inherited genetically, allow the Shamer to look anyone in the eye and force them to relive all of their shameful memories and confess their bad deeds.
The Shamer's gift is rare and the few around, like Dina's mother, are called on to settle legal disputes. This turns south when she is called to prove a man guilty in the matter of a royal murder - and the royal family doesn't like when she turns the blame on them.
When I picked up The Shamer's Daughter at the library, I didn't know it was targeted at such a young audience. Since the main character is 11, I'm assuming that the target audience is probably 8-12. I can understand a lot of the two-star reviews I'm seeing from fellow adults like myself, but I can see my younger self loving this book.
It's one of those YA books that straddles the lines of the genre. There is legitimate danger, graphic descriptions, foul language, and all those edgy things that tweens love to feel mature in reading.
However, the reason it wasn't too interesting to me as an adult was how simple characters and relationships were. Everyone Dina met was either a friend or a foe, and once someone was a friend, they were automatically a part of the "hero team" and a main character, no questions asked.
Had to give it a three-star since I'm sure younger kids would love it, though it wasn't my cup of tea. I'd suggest passing it on to an advanced young reader who loves fantasy.
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