The Shamer’s Daughter
by Lene Kaaberbol
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Pub Date 10 Sep 2019 | Archive Date 18 Jun 2019
Pushkin Press, Pushkin Children's Books
Dina has unwillingly inherited her mother's gift: the ability to elicit shamed confessions simply by looking into someone's eyes. To Dina, however, these powers are not a gift but a curse. Surrounded by fear and hostility, she longs for simple friendship.
But when her mother is called to Dunark Castle to uncover the truth about a bloody triple murder, Dina must come to terms with her power - or let her mother fall prey to the vicious and revolting dragons of Dunark.
'The series as a whole is in good standing alongside Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia' Booklist, starred review 'The term 'page-turner' is often used, but not always justified. It is deserved here, tenfold. I really, really couldn't put the book down' School Librarian 'The most original new fiction of this kind ... thrilling and thoughtful' The Times 'Spiced with likable characters and an intriguing new magical ability - eagerly awaiting volume two' Kirkus 'This novel stands on its own and offers a satisfying conclusion even as it provides an intriguing setting and mythology for future adventures' Publishers Weekly 'An absorbing and fast-paced fantasy/mystery bursting with action and intrigue. The only question is: when will the next one come out?' Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Average rating from 31 members
I absolutely loved this book. The way it was written made everything come to light!! Characterisation was wonderful, I felt like I knew them all. Very unusual story but one I look forward to reading the next instalment of.
I have heard about the Shamer Chronicles, but I never actually read the series. This novel is about a young girl who is an outcast in her village because of her eyes. I really sympathized with Dina who tries to find her own self and her own belonging. The novel itself is very fast-paced and immediately sucks you in. The writing is simple but exquisite. The world-building is very realistic and has a medieval setting. Thus, this novel is an enjoyable ride from the start that is filled with dragons, murder, and mayhem! I recommend this for fans of Tamora Peirce, Jessica Day George, and Shannon Hale! Full review to come!
I was originally interested in this title because I watched the subtitled movie on Amazon. I enjoyed it and thought my 8-year-old would like to read and review this book. Turns out I couldn't wait for him to read it, I wanted to read it too!
This is a great middle grade fantasy. Interesting and original concept, lots of good characters, just enough magic and mythical creatures and world building for the age group. The movie stuck to the book pretty closely, although not exactly.
I will add the eight-year-old's opinion once he reads it as well. I look forward to reading the next one in the series!
Dina starts off as a bit annoying and just a bit bratty to me but as the story unfolds she becomes a more mature (especially considering her age) and resourceful character. You really root for her.
There is also the beginning of a good female friendship, I just wish it had come into the story a bit earlier since we didn't get to see much of it. Hopefully there will be more development of it in the next book. Also no romance! Even with young characters there's normally a hint of a romantic relationship to come later but not in this one!
The political plotline isn't particularly original but it's a trope I always enjoy (especially when you add dragons).
Man I hated that villain!
Good mix of YA and science fiction! Dina and her mom can read people’s shame by looking into their eyes. They are both caught up in treachery by the castle and dragons. This book was a good, fast paced book and I hope to read another book about Dina!
(Will review on Amazon and Goodreads once published.)
Dina's mother has a special gift. Just by looking in someone's eyes, she can force them to feel all the shame of any crime they've committed, from not cleaning the kitchen table right up to murder. Dina has inherited this gift, and when her mother is caught up in a political struggle Dina means to do her very best to get her out of it again.
First things first. The translation on this is smooth as butter. There's no hint of the awkward phrases and strange sentences that often show up when something is translated. In fact, I wasn't even sure it was translated until I looked it up on Goodreads.
The story itself is relatively uncomplicated. The bad guy is obvious almost at once, there are various allies of varying levels of usefulness. There are dragons, here animals rather than intelligent, and they're sufficiently terrifying. Dina is convincingly ten years old, sometimes. At other times she seems far older, but we can attribute that to the gift of Shaming. It's an inventive gift, not one I'd read about before.
I'm interested to know what will happen next in this series, and I'll be watching out for it.
Receiving an ARC did not affect my review in any way.
A pleasantly different and interesting fantasy for the secondary school market. Our heroine is definitely the shamer's daughter – a talented female who need only lock eyes with someone for her to know all their guilt, which of course leads many to brand her and her mother as simple witches. But it's also useful at times to be a human lie-detector, which is why mother gets sent to test a potential murderer. When she doesn't return it's the accuser who fetches our girl, who has only that day been told she is to be an apprentice shamer, and puts her into the middle of the case. Is it a horrid multiple murder or is it, as mother insists, a case of false accusation and mistaken identity?
What's notable from the get-go is that this is a book the author herself translated from the original Danish – the vocabulary is certainly strong enough to make that a surprise. Clearly the talent is strong here. But more importantly, it's the relevant things – plotting, easy description, and honesty – that are clearly to the work's credit. I say plotting, for even though you spend the last quarter realising this leads straight on to a sequel you don't really mind. I say easy description, for those choosing to film this would have no problem with the look and design of it all, for it is really quite vivid. I say honesty for one simple act in a highly dramatic scene – an act that never really occurs in fiction of this kind, or indeed any, but which really seems so obvious and fundamentally in keeping with character.
I did think too much happened with the girl, and her narrative style was too rich, for her to convince as a "nearly eleven" year-old, and it was weird to have someone mention Latin, for this doesn't seem to be our world, but there is little wrong here. I'd certainly relish the rest of the cycle. A strong four stars.
I liked the concept of this book. It definitely kept me interested from the first page to the last. I'm going to read the rest of the series for sure!
An excellent story for readers of all ages. The idea of a "Shamer" is unique and as such this book is fascinating and can even be viewed as a study of humanity.
I was entranced by the tale and can't wait to read the next book in the series.
5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaabrbol from the publisher Pushkin Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What It’s About: Dina is the daughter of the shamer. The shamer is someone who can look into the soul of people and see all the things they feel shame for. Dina has inherited this gift, but feels cursed because no one wants to be her friend. There is a shocking grotesque murder of the royal family, and Dina’s mom is sent in to get the confession from the accused. But the shamer finds him innocent and this angers the forces truly responsible. Suddenly, Dina is brought into a crazy adventure.
What I Loved: I thought this was a really creative book and I hadn’t read anything quite like it before. The characters were likeable and it was an adventure.
What I didn’t like so much: I don’t really know whom the author was writing for, at some points it fit really well with a middle grade book like advertised, but at other points it definitely seemed more adult for middle grade and not knowing the audience made it difficult to really fully review.
Who Should Read It: If you like a young adult fantasy book with a unique premise. If you like female led books. If you like stories with an adventure and highstakes.
General Summary: A very unique fantasy book that is a fun adventure.
I liked this book. it's an interesting and engrossing read, well written and with a cast of fleshed out characters.
The plot is unusual and I appreciated the originality of the plot.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
The Shamer’s Daughter is being rereleased on the 10th of September with new covers, so this is a perfect change to pick up this wonderful series! I read this for the first time in 2010 and I remember loving them, it makes me happy that this can make more people pick up this great series. I have never read them in English before, and I think it is awesome that the author herself wrote them in English. If you have never heard about the series before it follows Dina who is the Shamer’s Daughter, that means she can look into people’s eyes and see what they are ashamed of. The first book follows her learning more about her powers, and her mother being hired to find out if this guy named Nico killed his family or not. Dina is throw into this as well, and the book also has dragons! I absolutely enjoyed coming back to this series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and cute fantasy. 4/5 stars.
it's 3am and i have just finished the Shamer's Daughter by Lene kaaberol which has been translated from Danish into English by the Author. In the book we follow Dina who has inherited her mother's gift of being able to look into a persons eyes and see if they have something to be ashamed of. Dina hates her gift but when her mum is called away to to Dunark and later Dina herself is taken there my Drakan to help her mum. This story has Dragons, sword fights and murder withing in pages that any fantasy lover would love to read about therefore I am giving it 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers letting me read such an amazing book.
I received a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’d never heard of a shamer before reading this story, but it sounds like an interesting and complex power to possess. This story is primarily about a shamers daughter, who is a shamer in training. A shamer has the ability to look in your eyes and see which past experiences have caused you to feel shame. They also have some sort of control over people when using a certain tone of voice.
Needless to say, they are often sought out to deal with people suspected in committing crimes to determine whether or not they committed them. That’s pretty much how this story starts out, very innocently, until it turns itself upside down and some serious craziness happens.
There’s conspiracy, murder, mayhem, dragons, a prince, a witch, and lots of scandal in order to steal a kingdom.
I really enjoyed it and looked forward to reading the second installment in the series.
It's a heartwarming fantasy book suited for everyone who likes fantasy. I know it's a middle grade fantasy book but.... I cried several times reading this book.
Terrific YA fantasy! I got immersed immediately and have enjoyed every page since. A jewel for the reader of any age in my opinion, with an adventurous heart (and a possibility to feel shame of their bad deeds - indicating a good heart).
Dina might be only almost 11-year-old, but she is valiant and wise above her years. This might be because she has inherited her mother's gift - she is a Shamer, able to see a person's most guilty doings just by looking into their eyes. While this ability can help when a right judgment is needed to recognize a perpetrator of a crime, it is a difficult gift also, as people are afraid to look into the Shamer's eyes. And a child longs for a connection...
Yet when her mother is called upon a crime to the Dunark Castle and then she is not returning, Dina will need all her strength to see the truth and fight for it. Because there is a betrayal waiting in the shadows of the Dunark.
The concept of this world is as unique as it is totally absorbing the reader's imagination.
This is also quite educational and uplifting book even for an adult like me. I like the strong yet gentle emphasis to the values and how people can be blinded into not seeing the truth and the right from wrong. Yet, this is is not a preaching book! I like how it also deals with the untrue shame (when others or you are shaming yourself unjustly or wrongly). Even the very Scandi concept of a single motherhood (Scandi in the tones and settings) is offered to be seen from the both sides.
Also I like that the characters are not one-dimensional, but flawed and raw.
And the most important thing - this is truly catchy! For ages I have been longing for the book what will prevent me from going to sleep - and this is it!
And honestly - I know that Dina is 11 and Nico is 17, so: not yet. Yet they click so much in their adventures! So, there is hoping that in 5 or more years they can look at the other one with the new eyes of more than friendship. Read for yourself!
This is a fabulous middle grade fantasy adventure that feels classic and fresh at the same time. It's a low magic medieval setting, with dragons of the 'big lizard' variety, a castle town full of intrigue, and lots of peril and adventure. I loved the main character, Dina, and her journey as she tries to come to terms with her Shamer's power to see into people's darkest moments - the concept is really clever and allows the story to explore some interesting ethical dilemmas. Though the story is dark, with some murder and a lot of backstabbing, I thought it felt age-appropriate. It would suit fans of Tamora Pierce and Arthurian myths. There's no cliffhanger, but I still can't wait to start the rest of the books in the series. Five out of five stars.
Thank you NetGalley and Pushkin Children’s Books for this review copy of The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberøl.
The Shamer’s Daughter is a middle-grade fantasy of 10 year old Dina and her mother who both have the ability to catch a person’s eye and make them feel shame. When Dina’s mother is caught in the middle of a plot for the throne it’s up to Dina to save both of their lives.
Although the world building was on the minimal side (the book is under 250 pages) I found the magical side well thought out and intriguing. The Shaming power of their skills is unique to the genre and I look forward to seeing it used in the rest of the trilogy. The dragons are properly terrifying and disgusting. All the characters including Dina, her family and the members of the royal family are all well drawn and fleshed out. I did feel that at various points in the novel that Dina acted closer in age to a teenager and should have had her age adjusted to fit her maturity.
On several sites this novel is described as middle-grade and recommended for 10-14 year olds. Although the main character is 10 and there is no sexual content there are some frank discussions and talk around a few of the characters being a “bastard” and another child is called a “slut” and “whore” and teased about prostituting herself. There is also a scene with domestic violence against a child and graphic dragon attacks. Parents of younger children may want to keep this in mind.
I actually enjoyed this novel a lot more than I thought I would. The world was unique (this was probably due to it originally being written in Danish 20 years ago) and it was fast-paced and kept my interest. I look forward to reading the rest of the Shamer Chronicles!
I really liked it. Well written and well developed storyline. Interesting and captivating from start to finish.
I'll look forward to reading more by this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me access to this book. This is my honest review. All opinions are my own.
I loved this book, though it was aimed at middle school readers. I believe readers of Tamora Pierce would enjoy this new series. The idea of people who can make you feel ashamed enough of your actions to confess on the spot is a creative premise. What if someone were incapable of feeling guilt? We find out here. I definitely want to read the next book in this series.
A very well done story, The Shamer's Daughter is just right for the age group.
Great characters and interesting story. I absolutely adored this book.
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