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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Serpent's Gift (The)
by Lene Kaaberbol
Age Range: 12+
This is the third Shamer novel after The Shamer’s Daughter and The Shamer’s Signet. Dina has inherited the Shamer’s gift from her mother – one look into her eyes and no one can mask their guilt or hide their shame. Shamers are seen as social outcasts and this makes the gift seem like a curse to eleven-year old Dina. A series of four novels follow the lives of the Tonerre family as they are constantly pitched into danger and adventure.
In The Serpent’s Gift, Dina discovers that as well as having the shamer’s gift, she has inherited a far more terrifying gift – the Serpent’s gift for lie and illusion – from her father, a Blackmaster. When he comes to claim his daughter, Dina and her family are catapulted into a reckless flight from their home. Her brother Davin and Nico are also in desperate danger, held in the Sagisburg by Arthos Draconis, a relative of Drakon, and Dina is finally forced to use the gift inherited from her father in order to save them.
Lene Kaaberbol is an excellent storyteller and translator and these Shamer novels have created an exciting world, on the edge of civilisation, magic and mystery. The harsh life of the Highlands with its rival clans and villains shows a world where those that manipulate the truth are afraid of the gifted few that can see the truth and are able to expose them.
The final book in the series is The Shamer’s War (Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)