I had recently been reading Shinn's Samaria series. I have The Alleluia Files on the go, but after reading Archangel and Jovah's Angel, I felt I needed to give myself a break and read something else. So, for my birthday, I bought myself this trilogy. The Safe-Keeper's Secret is book one in this young adult trilogy.
When she grows up, Fiona plans to be her village's Safe-Keeper, just like her mother, Damiana, who listens to, but cannot repeat, her neighbors' most troubling stories. Fiona's own family has plenty of secrets: Fiona doesn't know her father's identity, and on the night of her birth, the king's messenger left a mysterious baby with Damiana, asking her to keep and protect the child. The boy, Reed, and Fiona grow up in a bucolic setting as best friends, surrounded by a loving, extended family of magical adults. When Damiana falls ill, Reed and Fiona leave their childhood behind as they care for their mother and make startling discoveries about their respective parents. Shinn, whose fantasy titles for adults have earned her a wide teen following, heavily foreshadows a romance between Reed and Fiona, an element that may disturb some readers, particularly those in blended families. The romance is only hinted at, however, and teens will connect with Shinn's vividly drawn fantasy world as well as her provocative questions about truth, justice, and individual destiny
This was a relatively quick, cute, read, that you could almost say, reads like a fairy tale. Damania is the village safe-keeper. People come from all over to tell her things that they do not want others to know. Sometimes it is a meaningless piece of information, while at other times it is a big thing that if she wasn't the safe-keeper of that secret, you would have to tell someone. Then, late at night, a safe-keeper from another village comes and delivers a baby to Damania that she choses to raise as her own.
This means that she has two children, her daughter, Fiona, and this child from the night, Reed. Fiona is a quiet sort, who can sit around for hours and do nothing, while Reed can't sit still for more than ten seconds. Most of the story is told from Fiona's point of view. It is when these two are older that we enter the story, on the beginning pages they are just turning 10, and the story continues into their late teens.
I thought that this book was very enjoyable. Fiona could annoy me sometimes, but I think that was the point. The Truth-Teller, who I will be exploring more in the second book of this trilogy, told Fiona that she will never be a safe-keeper like her mother before, and she gets pretty resentful. This candid remark from this older man dictates most of Fiona's actions as the novel carries on.
Some people didn't like the ending. I did, because I was expecting it. It is a wonderful twist at the end, and maybe I am alone, but something didn't add up for me throughout the novel. It was great to learn that I was right.