Monday, May 03, 2010

Book Review: WATERMARK by Vanitha Sankaran

An unexpected treat this read was, it like nothing I have ever read before mysterious and mystical all in one. I am really beyond help in this new medieval obsession I have going on. This was not my typical read about the trials of my favorite royal figure heads instead “Watermark” focuses on one family that would be what we deem today as the working middle class.

Set during the 14th century in a village in southern France in a town called Narbonne. Auda made a dramatic entrance into the world within the first few pages of the read and that was all it took for me to be hooked in. I could not put this read down. A violent birth, the loss of her mother and Auda was in the hands of the vile healers assistant who stole off with her and cut the poor babe’s tongue out “to protect her from evil”. In reality Auda was not cursed but what today we would deem a medical marvel, she was an albino. Lacking complete pigment in her skin, eyes, and hair but what she lacked in pigment she made up for in heart.

With her mother gone Auda formed a very tight knit family with her older sister and father. Her father was constantly working on his developing trade of making cloth paper; usually it was a trial and error process. It was his thing and Auda loved the paper she was basically his apprentice. Since her father at one time was a scribe he taught the girls to read and write. During the early 14th century that was a phenomenon all in its self most of the women of the time who knew their letters were the highborn nobility. After her older sister Ponca married her father Martin was forced to come to grip with the reality that his special youngest daughter was going to have to have a future in the world. In a flux of events her father starts to fill orders of cloth paper for the Vicomtess. Her father shocked her by including Auda’s services as a scribe in the paper deal telling his beloved daughter “you can not hid forever”. 

During her time with the Vicomtess she managed to seek off and find the hottie artist she had met at her sisters herb stall in the market. Jamie was the first person outside of her family that talked to her not at her. The town’s peace is shattered when the Inquisition starts surrounding the town on all sides and is slowly closing in. No one is safe, gypsies, Jews, and defiantly not the one thought to be “the white witch” of Narbonne. Stunningly this read was really unpredictable and the intrigue aspect of the book had me hooked from the beginning. The Inquisition never touched Narbonne before but this time the town would not be left unscathed.

5/5 Highly recommended, a light read, that was very interesting, I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to stay within their favorite time periods and places but wants something a bit different. Besides this to die for cover it is a very pretty book even on the inside. Scrolls with quotes and medieval font really gave the book a real feel for the times. Since I got an ARC in the mail and it is not the final cover I have to go and buy this one. The cover is just too pretty not to have the final version in my library.

Thank you, Vanitha for sending me your wonderful novel I am so glad you did and I look forward to more from you in the future. 

Amazon-Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages 
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  1. Wasn't this a great book? I loved it too. :)

  2. So glad you enjoyed it.. I love seeing new authors become successful!

  3. Very nice review Lizzy! I second your opinion: very good medieval era book without being another geared toward royals.

  4. I am going to be reading this one soon. I read the first chapter online and immediately fell in love with the writers style. Can't wait to read it an great review!

  5. Katy, you read it was a really good read. Different but very good.

    Marie, this one I am sure will be coming back with more. I have to buy this one it must be in the library. It was one of those books that when it is in your hand it is special, it feels just perfect.

    Arleigh, I remember you really liked it and knew I would too. Just enough of nobility in the story to stay with in my taste.

    Dolleygurl, I agree I was captivated by her style from the beginning. It just gets better from there I promise.

  6. The reviews on this one have all been pretty positive! It's on my list of books to get too one day

  7. Marg, if it gives you any incentive the book is a short read though it is roughly 300+ pages the story moves so quickly it is a very short 300 pages. I hope you get to it someday I know how you feel, someday.

  8. I'm thrilled you loved this novel. I've been toying with buying it or not...afraid it was going to be to painful a read....But it sounds like it was OK and one I will enjoy. Thank you!!!

  9. Great review, Liz! I see this one getting lots of attention all over, I will probably end up purchasing it because it sounds so good!

  10. Okay, seriously? Going to IMMEDIATELY buy this one. I'm not even kidding! Sounds very "Pope Joan"-ish, which I LOVED. LOVED I TELL YOU!

    I have been away for so long that I missed when you revamped your blog, it is GEORGOUS!!!!!!! WOW!

    I have missed visiting you and all my other bloggy friends, but now I'm back and ready to reeeead! :0)

  11. I LOVE this cover. The story itself has a lot of unusual elements. Have heard nice things about it and have put it on m TBR list.

  12. This story sounds very good and the reviews have been wonderful

  13. Mitzi, I am going to buy it next trip to the bookstore. It just was not what I expected it to be it went above my expectations. I think you would really enjoy it.

    Allie, I knew you have it o n the brain now. It was so good I think you would love it not because it is so good but because it is so good and a pretty book. Which is a rocking combination.

    Lisa, I LOVED Pope Joan too I actually lent my copy out and have not been able to get it back o I bought a brand new copy. I just had to have it in my library. You have to buy it then if you loved Joan it has kind of the same feel. Awh thank you Lisa I am glad you like it. I try to stay stylish since my personal life is sometimes very lacking of that quality. I am so GLAD you are back and ready to read!

    LibraryPat, I know it is beautiful even as an ARC. You would plow through this read it was a real gem to read. It got me out of my funk for a minute.

    Mystica, I know I keep hearing lots of positives on it. What is shocking is this is her first book.


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