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By author: Holly Bennett
Selling Points: "Irish legend, magic, transformation"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Apr/01/2010
Pages: 256
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $14.95
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I didn't dare move, my four legs as uncertain and untried as a newborn's... The triumph of what I had done thrilled through my blood, and the terror of it too. It had happened without my effort or will. What if I could not change back? Panic rose up in my breast, and I might have tried to claw my way out of my new skin if not for the fawn. He nuzzled beside me, nosing my flank as though checking for milk and then backing up awkwardly to find and lick my muzzle. The wonder of it pushed away the fear, and once I stopped being afraid, I understood that returning to my own form would be as simple as willing it.

A woman trapped in the body of a deer. A dark sorcerer in relentless pursuit. A mysterious child, found alone on the slopes of a great mountain.

This is the turbulent and heartbreaking story of Sive, a girl of the Otherworld who must flee her world of plenty to live as a hunted beast. Surviving hardship, danger and crushing loneliness, she finally finds refuge—and unexpected joy—with a mortal champion, Finn Mac Cumhail, the great hero of Irish legend. But Sive's ordeal is far from over. She has a gift the Dark Man craves, and the smallest misstep will give him his chance to snatch her away from all she holds dear.

Set in the wild, magical landscape of Iron Age Ireland, Shapeshifter is a tale of rapacious evil, quiet courage and the healing power of love.
Amy's Marathon of Books blog - May 8, 2014
"Beautifully written...I enjoyed Bennett elaborating on a story from Irish legend and found her writing to be lyrical and detailed. Sive’s story was entertaining and engrossing, a lovely read for younger female fantasy lovers."
Tucson Unified School District - November 13, 2012
"Perfect for readers who want an exciting adventure that makes them wonder."
BookLinx - January 30, 2012
"Recommended to readers who love fantasy, great prose, and a wonderful epic story." - April 23, 2011
"An endearing tale that gives a unique spin on this classic Irish legend...The characters are extremely memorable, and those who like fairy tales, fantasy, adventure, and legends will be left wishing there were more books to read when they're finished." - November 30, 2010
"While reading this book I could almost see myself huddl[ed] by a fire at night, listening to a storyteller…and every time he paused, begging him to continue. And then, when it ended, heaving a huge, satisfied sigh because it was such a wonderful tale, so masterfully told."
Library Media Connection - November 1, 2010
"Lyrical language and descriptions transport readers to the Otherworld in this story inspired by Irish legend…Animal fantasy fans will savor the setting and the details about the wildlife…Exquisitely written."
The StarPhoenix - October 9, 2010
"Bennett does a lovely job of transforming the untold details of the original legend into a richly crafted epic novel... Bennett is particularly deft at handling the descriptions of place that mark a vivid path for readers...Highly recommended."
School Library Journal - October 1, 2010
"Readers…will welcome this well-told tale that draws on Irish legend, language, and geography to complete its setting and mood…Fantasy fans will enjoy this tightly woven story and appreciate the map, pronunciation guide and legend that round out the experience."
TriState YA Book Review - September 1, 2010
"The details flow along smoothly, aided by a glossary of pronunciation and a dictionary of characters and settings...The story is unique, the characters and plot are appealing to both male and female readers, and the action nver stops. Bennett has written a remarkable novel...A perfect choice for a middle school or high school library."
What If? Magazine - September 1, 2010
"Bennett has succesfully blended rich Irish mythology with engaging writing. Different character perspectives keep the story moving, and the reader entranced...I highly suggest that you add this to your reading list."
VOYA - August 1, 2010
"Bennett artfully weaves traditional Irish folklore into her story of Sive. The enchantment of Bennett's interpretation of the legend of Sive is a perfect match to her prose which, at times, is as liquid as we imagine Sive's songs to be."
by: Richard Marsh, Storytellers of Ireland - July 1, 2010
"Holly Bennett has surpassed my wildest hopes…with a bright and impeccable style all her own…This is a writer with a genuine love and respect for Irish traditional stories who can be trusted to use her imagination to fill the gaps in the sources. Highly recommended."
January Magazine - July 1, 2010
"There's so much magic in Shapeshifter, it's difficult to know where to begin…The story itself is beautiful and adventure-filled and Bennett's magic transports us…Bennett's voice here is confident, her direction clear, she never misses a beat of this rich and gorgeous tale."
CM Magazine - June 18, 2010
"Readers who are familiar with the reworking of traditional tales will be in for a treat because the author pays more attention to character development that spinning out the details of familiar stories, and the tale is told in a natural relaxed style...This is a great story, and one I have to praise highly to anyone who enjoys the type of high fantasy which brings out the truly bright and noble in every station of life. Highly Recommended."
Quill & Quire - June 1, 2010
"Bennett deftly embellishes Sive's story while remaining true to its mythic sources…A boldly written, tightly plotted and hard-edged novel….The book is unflinching in its emotional effect, which is rooted in its well-drawn characters."
Booklist - June 1, 2010
"Basic human emotions - fear, love, greed - move the tale along, and short first-person narratives that personalize the action are interspersed throughout."
Resource Links - June 1, 2010
"This novel is compelling, poignant, and very accessible...In this modern retelling [Bennett] has done justice to one of the evocative myths of the eternally young and their encounters with morals, and brought new life to the universe of Tir na nOg...The result is an appealing read."
CD Syndicated - April 1, 2010
"A standout…Shapeshifter has an awful lot going for it. The story is compelling, the characters involving, the plot twists make sense, and the suspense is really, really suspenseful."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2010
SYRCA Snow Willow nominee, short-listed  CA  2011
TriState YA Review Group Book of Note, commended  US  2011
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2011
Sunburst Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2011

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