Sorrow's Knot

Sorrow's Knot

by Erin Bow

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Winner of the 2014 Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, from the author of PLAIN KATE At the very edge of the world live the Shadowed People. And with them live the dead. There, in the village of Westmost, Otter is born to power. She is the proud daughter of Willow, the greatest binder of the dead in generations. It will be Otter’s job someday to tie the knots of the ward, the only thing that keeps the living safe. Kestrel is training to be a ranger, one of the brave women who venture into the forest to gather whatever the Shadowed People can’t live without and to fight off whatever dark threat might slip through the ward’s defenses. And Cricket wants to be a storyteller -- already he shows the knack, the ear -- and already he knows dangerous secrets. But something is very wrong at the edge of the world. Willow’s power seems to be turning inside out. The ward is in danger of falling. And lurking in the shadows, hungry, is a White Hand, the most dangerous of the dead, whose very touch means madness, and worse. Suspenseful, eerie, and beautifully imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545578004
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Sold by: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,045,999
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Erin Bow was born in the Midwest and studied particle physics in college, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. She then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her love of writing. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband James and their two daughters. Erin Bow can be visited online at

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Sorrow's Knot 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite On the world where Sorrow's Knot takes place, the tribe of Free Women think they live on the edge of the earth, and there is nothing beyond the forest. It is their job to protect the tribe, or at least the binder's job. The story tells us of three young kids who are trying to find their places in the tribe, but they aren't going to stick to the old rules. Otter feels that she is going to be a binder - her mother is a binder - but little does she know her mother has other plans for her, and refuses to let her daughter learn to be a binder. The shock and sadness causes Otter to move into an old hut that was abandoned, followed soon after by her two best friends, Cricket and Krestel. They each use the magic they have to find their way, to understand the old stories, and to unravel the mysteries that are their world. Erin Bow wraps the unknown of a foreign world with the familiar and weaves a story that will keep you glued till the very end. Sorrow's Knot is a fantasy tale because it takes place on another world, but you will forget that as you read the book. As you start reading, it feels more like an old Indian folk legend from long, long ago that wraps around you as you read. There are mysteries in the old stories, and Cricket finds them first, and I think I enjoyed that because he was the least valued in their tribe. It only made sense that Erin Bow would bring him to the top. The characters are teenagers, which is what puts it in that coming-of-age story group, but it so much more. Teens and adults alike will love this book, and enjoy the world that has been created.
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
A Definite Must for MG and YA Readers!! I would like to thank both NetGalley and Scholastic for granting me the chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influences this review. <blockquote>In the world of Sorrow&rsquo;s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders. Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She&rsquo;s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow&rsquo;s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she&rsquo;s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants.</blockquote> This story was very creative and interesting, holding within its heart a strong message. However the nice thing is that the message did not overpower the story, or become the story. That was left to the creativity of the characters, each of whom played a valuable role in sharing their part of the larger story. We first meet the main character, Otter, as she is being born, and in that moment we learn of her mother's hopes &amp; dreams for her. Born to Willow who is considered to be the most powerful binder since the time of Mad Spider even though she is the second binder, under head binder Tamarack. We get to be with Otter as she grows up, a rough and tumble kid who is well liked by all. Due to her presumed status as a binder she could have held herself above everyone, but she never did. She, Kestrel and Cricket become best friends early on - they basically form their own pack. And, like most kids they are often getting into trouble. Typically Otter gets the blame for all the trouble, because no one but Otter and Cricket ever get to see Kestrel's mischievous side, and as Cricket is a boy he is automatically discounted, leaving Otter as the obvious instigator of any mischief. Kestrel is considered by all to be the levelheaded member of their little pack, the one who balances the other two. When crossing out of childhood she becomes accepted into the Ranger cord, training under the head ranger Thistle. That is until the day Thistle does something that breaks Kestrel's heart so badly that it almost destroys her. Something she'll never, ever forgive Thistle for. And then there is Cricket, making up the third leg of their tripod. Although considered to be powerless because of his gender Cricket is so clearly a natural storyteller that he is accepted into that cord. In addition to being allowed into the cord he also trains under the head storyteller Flea, both of which are exceptional in this freehold pinch of Westmost. In Westmost it is known that men have no power and therefore aren't considered part of the pinch - male children are almost always sent to other pinches, yet Cricket never was. Even though everyone in the pinch knows Otter was declared to be 'a binder born' her mother doesn't ask her to join the cord. In fact she refuses to take Otter on as her second, leaving the pinch with only one binder after Tamarack passes away. This is unheard of and shows just how odd Willow is becoming, yet no one in the pinch questions her. By not being accepted into the Binder's cord Willow leaves Otter in a state of limbo, no longer a child, but not yet an adult, since she doesn't belong to a cord. In declining to accept her daughter into the cord Willow also leaves her homeless, forced to move out of the binder's lodge, the only home she has ever know. Otter is heartbroken, for she has always known she is a binder, for she has the power and lacks only the training. Much to Otter's surprise, as she is moving in to an unused lodge, preparing to learn to live all alone, both Kestrel and Cricket show up with all their belongings. As always the unit sticks together. Even when Kestrel and Cricket commit to only each other for their entire lives - something the women of the freehold pinch just don't do - they don't exclude Otter, never making her feel like a third wheel. These three support each other regardless of the risks, which run from very light to exile from the pinch, which is certain death no matter what cord you belong to. Even knowing the risks they still do whatever is required to support one another. A short journey that descends into heartbreak ends up spawning an even longer journey for Otter and Kestrel. On their travels they meet Orca, a young man from beyond the end of the world, at least the world as they know it. And surprisingly Orca has power, proving to them just how wrong some of the beliefs of their pinch are - a discovery that comes at a terribly high cost for all involved. Through the power of the individuals and the strength of their friendships so much is learned and changed for good, not just for each of them but for their entire culture and way of life. This journey is just the tip of the iceberg, both in the sense of actual travel and emotional growth. All of these changes are set as they are coming of age, making this an excellent book for both middle grade and young adults. Ms. Bow has taken bits and pieces from various cultural beliefs and mixed them together with her own creations, ending up with something entirely new, yet with a sense of the familiar. The arc of the story is smooth, and the pace is consistent with the actions of all the characters. A creative tale without doubt, with some worthwhile messages deftly interwoven throughout. I would easily recommend this book to all readers, but especially MG and YA readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dashes and finds them its ok edme i and cheetahpelt will take care of you no scratch that the whole Clan will take care of me see the thing is all you gotta do is follow our directions and you will be safe. Do you want to be a apprentice like me?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She nods and starts back.