Review Blog

Jul 30 2009

Nina of the dark by Ken Catran

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HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN 9781869506650 (Age 11+) Recommended. A gripping fantasy called Nina's Saga is told by Bard the Restless. A slave called Nina is the heroine. She is the one who must overcome the darkness and the multitude of evil creatures which threaten to kill her and her companions, a thief and a giant, for she is a thumb hurter. The plot is dense with unusual creatures and the Rut army wanting to outwit Nina and her allies. The plot moves swiftly for Catran uses imagery beautifully and the poetry foretells the coming battles. Nina becomes an awe inspiring leader who rejects the treasure and finds Lightskin, a costume of silver chain mail which fits her perfectly and Brightsong, a sword with a red-braided hilt and ruby set scabbard, damaged but with no pommel stone. The minor characters are strong and believable and add to the intensity as the drama unfolds. There is scope for a sequel.
Sue Nosworthy

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