by Holly Bennett
Orca Book Publishers, 2010. 244 pgs. Young Adult Fiction
Taking place in Eire and the Otherworld of Irish legend, this is the tragic story of Sive, a gifted young woman of the Otherworld. She is able to change her shape into a deer, but her gift for song, which allows her to hold sway over those within the sound of her voice, makes her a target for the most powerful dark druid in the land. The Dark Man would use her voice to further his own plans for control of the Otherworld. To escape him, she flees her home to the wilds of Eire, remaining as a deer for many years to avoid his detection. She finally finds refuge and even love with the mortal champion Finn Mac Cumhail, but the Dark Man is relentless and her ordeal is far from over.
I love reading books based on myths and legends, especially those originating from Ireland. I like comparing the original myth to the author’s interpretation, and in Shapeshifter the original tale is included in the back of the book which makes it easy to compare. Another aspect of Shapeshifter I really enjoyed was that it is short enough to not take much commitment to read, but not so short that it sacrifices character development or storyline. Over all, I found this book to be well-written. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Irish legends, shape-shifting magic, or looking for a short but good book.