reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Great characters in a superbly imagined world!
I fell in love with Dina and her world when I first met her in the Shamer’s daughter. She is a strong, yet flawed character, and for all her ‘magic’ powers immensely human. In the same way, her world, so richly imagined by Ms. Kaaberbol, manages to be, at the same time, fantastic and real.
In the Shamer’s War, the last book in the series, Dina, now thirteen, has come into full possession of both her mother’s gift, the ability to shame people by showing them their most reprehensible memories, and his father’s, the gift of illusion, which allows her to conceal her presence at will.
But having powers is dangerous. Drakan, the usurper lord of Dunark, is conquering all the lands beyond Dina’s remote village and killing the shamers.
As Drakan’s forces advance, a resistance is rallying under Nico’s name. Nico, the rightful heir to Dunark, is living with Dina’s family, and the last thing he wants is to be Dunark lord, or the leader of the resistance. Nico is no coward, but he knows power has a price, one he’s reluctant to pay. Yet feeling it’s his duty to stop the war, he comes up with a plan, a plan that doesn’t include Dina, or her family.
But when he secretly leaves the village to deal with Drakan on his own terms, a lovesick Dina follows him, dragging the reader behind in a fast paced adventure across oceans and though marshes to the final, breathtaking confrontation between the lawful heir and the usurper lord.
Like another famous Danish storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen, Ms. Kaaberbol doesn’t settle for an easy happily-ever-after ending, but for a quieter and more realistic one, that is still quite satisfying.
The Shamer’s War, with its thought provoking look at the nature of power and the real meaning of courage, is a strong book on its own, and a worthy conclusion to the series.