Hearthsooth, Not Bloodcarver

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This is a stark plotline of loneliness, familial devotion and loss, poverty, wealth, political machinations and social networking. All these factors have in common the urge for connection—literal and figurative. Suonayasa Nhika’s need to get by in her hardscrabble world is offset by her equal yearning for belonging.

In this tragic tale of love lost, found and lost again, she finds that others are equally bereft by bereavement even when they seem to have everything they could ever want. Nhika’s attempts at connection bring her into contact with a world for which she is ill suited yet longs to be a part of, if only to be a part of something.

The author also offers a kind of magic that meets with science in order to work miracles. That is wondrous too but not as much as the human beings it touches and transforms. Nhika’s gift of hearthsoothing is special, wondrous, rare and reviled by the very people who would benefit from its help. Her efforts to find a place in this often hostile environment revolves around her abilities but her courage and brightness come from a different place entirely.

This is a tale of power passed down through women and that fierce female stalwartness is the beating heart of this novel.