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06 August 2009 @ 11:20 am
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C Wrede  
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C Wrede
I have very much enjoyed other books by Patricia C Wrede, namely The Cecelia and Kate books, written in conjunction with Caroline Stevermer. What struck me about that series, and what struck me about this novel, is that Wrede is wonderful at world building. The Thirteenth Child Is, In essence a very long first chapter. It dose have a plot, but most of the book is the reader learning about the world through the eyes of Eff. Eff is born the thirteenth child to her parents, while her twin brother Lam is the 7th son of a 7th son. A double seventh son is meant to become very magically powerful, so Eff’s extended family treat Lam with reverence, and as if he can do no wrong. On the other hand thirteenth children are meant to go very powerfully evil, and destroy everyone around them. Eff is treated terribly by her extended family, especially her Uncle Ern. Eff parents decide that this isn’t good for their children, so move to the frontier.

As the book progresses you see the world growing and changing through Eff’s eyes, and the world of the frontier is fascinating. There are steam dragons, woolly mammoths, magical beetles, and people called the Rationalists who don’t belive in using magic.
Eff blames herself for almost everything that happens, because of the curse she sees herself as having. Her teacher Mrs Occobukka really helps her with his, teaching her about other schools of thought relating to magic, ones that don’t think she is evil.
The plot is very slow, but the world created was enough to keep me fascinated. Wrede’s writing is great, really capturing the feel.
One of the criticisms I have heard is that there is no sign of native Americans at all, and I can see why. If a book was written about Australia’s settlement that removed the Aboriginals there would be outrage. I hope that in the next book she rectifies it because otherwise I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone.