Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 399
Tale of Survival
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats is a unique, dark tale set in Medieval Wales. The author did their research! The book fully immerses the reader, taking you back in time. Following the story of Elen as she tries to find her place in this brutal world, Spindle and Dagger will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The story unfolds from Elen's point of view. An interesting character, to say the least, Elen lives life on a prayer. When her family was killed in a raid on her home and the leader of the raid nearly killed, Elen heals him and spins a lie: "Owain ap Cadwgan, son of the king of Powys, cannot be killed, not by blade nor blow nor poison. Owain ap Cadwgan has the protection of Saint Elen, as long as he keeps her namesake safe from harm and near him always." For three years, Elen has lived with her abusers, safe because of this lie. She is forced to be as ruthless and cunning as the warband that protects her. One wrong move, one misstep and they could easily turn on her. Her list begin to unravel when Owain abducts Nest, the wife of a nearby lord.
Nest is a turning point for Elen. Elen sees Nest as regal and unflinching despite her circumstances. As the two form a friendship, Elen begins imagining her life outside of Owain. She dreams of the day where she can look to a future, instead of praying to survive the day. I enjoyed the friendship that develops between the two women. It occurs naturally throughout the story, rather being forced.
As I already mentioned, this is well-researched novel. I appreciate that the author didn't try to romanticize the era. Instead, Coats describes the brutality of the time-period through Elen's eyes. As the reader, you understand what is happening and why because for Elen it is everyday life.
Overall, I enjoyed Spindle Dagger. Elen is stronger than she gives herself credit for. Her development throughout the book is subtle, and I found myself rooting for her by the end. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this beautiful yet brutal novel.
Good Points
- Well researched, historical accurate
- Strong female lead
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Dark and Shallow Lies
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in...
Imposters
 
4.0
 
5.0 (1)
Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very...
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
 
5.0 (1)
Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not...
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Meet the ten remarkable kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries...
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Cuddle up with your little one and get ready to...
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A shocking thriller about a group of friends who go...
Bird Boy
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who...
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Acclaimed creator of The Word Collector, Happy Dreamer, Say Something,...
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Get ready to deck the halls with these joyful, singing,...
The Oddmire, Book 3: Deepest, Darkest
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The third adventure in the beloved fantasy series full of...
The Oddmire, Book 2: The Unready Queen
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Human-raised brothers Tinn and Cole join forces with Fable, daughter...
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it,...
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before meets Morgan Matson...
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an...
Traitors Among Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
World War II may be over. But two sisters are...

Latest Member Reviews

Dark and Shallow Lies
 
5.0
"What I Loved: Dark and Shallow Waters is raw and utterly compelling as Grey returns to her second home in..."
Imposters
 
5.0
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Our Way Back to Always
 
5.0
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Better Than the Movies
 
5.0
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Imposters
 
4.0
"IMPOSTERS by Scott Westerfeld is a YA dystopian novel, set in the future after many different and unique time periods..."
Breeder
 
4.0
"BREEDER by Honni van Rijswijk is a YA Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic novel in which natural disasters and war have killed off..."
Better Than the Movies
 
4.7
"BETTER THAN THE MOVIES by Lynn Painter is just about the cutest YA Rom-Com to ever exist. The story follows..."
Made in Korea
 
3.7
"MADE IN KOREA by Sarah Suk is a YA Contemporary that follows Valerie, a young entrepreneur, who’s obsessed with the..."
Mary, Will I Die?
 
3.0
"It started off as a prank among friends five years ago. All they had to do was say Bloody Mary..."
Bee a Good Human: A Pollinators' Guide to a Better Life
 
4.0
"Bee a Good Human: A Pollinator’s Guide to a Better Life is a compilation of artwork from Ali Beckman, or..."
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
 
5.0
"In her introduction to this book, Ms. Baptiste mentions that every February, for Black History Month, her children would bring..."
Kyle's Little Sister
 
4.0
"Grace is just entering 6th grade, and will be rejoining her older brother Kyle at school, where he is a..."
Willa of Dark Hollow (Willa of the Wood, 2)
 
4.5
"What I Loved: In the first book, I left wanting to see Willa interact more in nature. In this..."
Small Favors
 
4.0
"Amity Falls is a small, quiet, religious town surrounded by forests. Ellerie Downing lives there with her sisters, brother, and..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
4.0
"Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her..."
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about love, COUNT TO LOVE! is a cute poem that encourages..."
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER is an adventure-filled graphic novel about Johnny (Kid) Constantine. We start by meeting Kid..."