Summary: Abisina has been an outcast since birth because her dark skin, dark hair, and green eyes are so different from the Vranille ideal--blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Children like her are thrown outside city gates to die, but Abisina was spared because her mother, Sina, is the village healer. But the life she lives is disparaging, and when a legendary ruler comes back, Vranille turns on Abisina and other outcasts.
Before Abisina escapes, her mother gives her directions to Watersmeet.
And to her unknown father.
Review: Watersmeet is a bit slow at the start and a tad long, but man is it worth it! Abisina's tale is unique and imaginative, in the fashion of Lord of the Rings. Centaurs, dwarves, fairies and more light it up brilliantly, and the human characters are delightfully woven in. I really have not read a book this imaginable in a long time.
Abisina's time in Vranille was touching and realistic. I felt what it was like to be her, and could easily see the cruelty of the town and the love of her mother, all the while sense the mystery lying behind everything. Abisina battles what she's been taught to fear against the reality of her fears.
The climax is well developed, not too short or too long, and just complicated enough to keep me guessing. The story nicely builds throughout and finishes with a content flourish.
My favorite part (besides the fantasy aspect.. of course. Am I prejudiced?) is that Watersmeet is entirely clean and written brilliantly. It can be done. Bravo, Abbott.
I would definitely buy Watersmeet in hardcover. Several of my friends said the cover was 'creepy', but I don't think it's creepy at all :) I love it, and think it fits the story nicely.