Saturday, February 22, 2014
The Caged Graves, by Dianne K Salerni
The result of all this is a rich historical novel that, while flirting with supernatural ideas, stays pretty soundly within the realm of the possible in its historical context. The story is multi-layered and also includes a complicated romantic triangle that I found compelling and mature. If I have a complaint, it is that the book is being mis-marketed: despite its seventeen year-old heroine, the story could only passably be considered a "young adult" novel.
I liked the richness of the characters and the complexity of their motivations. While superstitions and fears at the beginning convince even the reader that higher forces are at play, by the end it is revealed that complex human passions can be far more mysterious than evil spirits. The story's own mysteries are plausibly and satisfactorily resolved by the end, but still manage to surprise and startle. Very good storytelling!