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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Title: The Lure of Shapinsay
Author: Krista Holle
Published: December 2011
Format: Ebook provided by author for review

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

Before I started this book, I thought about it quite a bit.  Historical books can be quite a challenge for me, I struggle without the modern conveniences (although I have had a few fantastic experiences with historicals).  Also, this book was about Selkies – something else I’ve not had great experiences with.  Now, throw all of that out the door because this book was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!

In a time when legend rules, faeries are real, and people are superstitious we find Kait who is a bit outside of the norm, herself.  She lives on the island of Shapinsay.  We start this book when her best friend, Astrid, is giving birth.  Rumors fly instantly, people claim the baby is part animal.  Selkie to be exact.

Quick note, for those who are not yet familiar with Selkies… they aren’t shifters, exactly.  They are like beings who can shed their seal skin and look human, but their seal skin is a part of them.  It molds to their body, it recognizes them, and when they put it on they resume their true form of a seal.  Perhaps this definition will help:  Selkies on Wiki

Back to Kait.  A Selkie in the sea sees Kait looking in the water for the infant, and he thinks it is she who is at fault for what has happened.  (am I vague much?) And he decides he is going to get justice, vigilante style.  He begins to wreak havoc, as Selkies are rumored to do.  And then one night as he watches her as she sleeps, she wakes up to see him.  Legend has it that Selkies are magical, and even a look will drive a woman crazy with thoughts of love. But Kait is convinced it is real love, and not the after effects of magic.

It was so very gripping to watch Kait’s journey.  Personally I couldn’t tell whether she was going mad or was truly madly in love.  Maybe it was both.  But watching these together was certainly a treat indeed.  I do believe they both went a little mad together.   Eamon, the Selkie, is so gruff at time, I didn’t know if I felt bad for him or for Kait.

Ultimately, this story of love was a treat.  The characters were vivid.  The story was heartbreaking at times.  The emotions were beautifully conveyed.  I wish I had read this book sooner, it was so good and so unexpected.  There are so many twists and turns, questions and drama… everything played out perfectly and I felt like I was right there with everyone.  I definitely recommend this book!

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