- Title: Little Sister
- Author: Kara Dalkey
- Released: 1998-04-01
- Pages: 200
- ISBN: 0140386319
- ISBN13: 978-0140386318
- ASIN: 0140386319
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal Grade 5-8-Dalkey blends elements of Shinto and Buddhist folklore with historical facts about Japan around A.D. 1100. Mitsuko, 13, is a member of the powerful Fujiwara noble family. As her family flees the city to escape the marauding warrior-monks, her sister's beloved husband is killed and the young woman plunges into a catatonic state. Mitsuko believes that the only way to save her is to search for her soul, which must be seeking the soul of her dead husband. She runs away, taking her sister with her, and meets up with a tengu, or shape-shifting demon, who agrees to help with Mitsuko's quest. So begins a fantastical journey in which the brave girl meets many mystical figures of Japanese mythology, resulting in the eventual recovery of her sister, a reunion of her family, and the changing of Mitsuko's life forever. The author never really generates the excitement one might expect. Despite an endnote delineating cultural fact from folkloric fiction, the onslaught of unfamiliar mythical figures may frustrate less-than-patient readers. Also distracting is the rhythm of the language, which is choppy and unnatural. The ending is strangely ambiguous and seems tacked on. Even with these flaws the book will be of interest because of its unusual setting. It should appeal to readers of romantic fantasy thanks to a strong female protagonist, the engaging and humorous tengu, and the chance to discover an unfamiliar mythology.
Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. pdf