Review: White Orchid
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Friday, March 04, 2011 Edit
by Ingrid Seymour
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
White Orchid / B003CV7R8W
AhXel knows that he is different from the other children in his tribe, but he isn't sure why. Protected and cloistered by his mother, he knows only that his hair is white when it should be black, and his head is round when it should be flat as a board, bound from babyhood. And though the other children pick on him as much as possible, he looks forward to the day when his beads will be cut and he will be a man...then, no one will challenge him.
A very fascinating portrait of youth in a different culture, this excerpt carefully conveys AhXel's childhood and the air of mystery surrounding his differences. The family dynamics are particularly interesting, with the mother protecting her child but earning his hatred in the process; and with the father's brutal honesty and open dislike instilling a curious mixture of distance and trust in his son. If I could make one suggestion, it would be that the setting be more clearly established up front - the names and setting details could establish the story in the Americas, or this could be on another world entirely. Of course, setting is usually also given in "back of the book" pitches, so this is just a small suggestion.
Overall, I enjoyed this excerpt and would definitely read more.
NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.
~ Ana Mardoll
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