Watersmeet is the first novel in the Watersmeet series by Ellen Jensen Abbott. It is tagged Young Adult, but unlike some of today’s YA books this one can be read by younger YA readers. It’s about a girl who lives in a land with mythical creatures–including centaurs. You know how I am about horses, centaurs, unicorns, pegasi–you get the idea. On Amazon and Goodreads, this book gets a lot of rating abuse. I think those low stars are from YA readers who are expecting something edgier/more violent/sexier. Watersmeet is not like that.
Abisina is a human girl, heavily discriminated against because of her coloring and her absent father. Luckily, her mother’s healer skills are valued and Abisina is tolerated. An event turns the girl’s life upside down when she is forced, under penalty of death, to leave her village and find Watersmeet, where her father lives. She finds cruelty and discrimination as well as loyalty and love.
The world Abisina travels through is rich with history and races of creatures. The reader learns along with the girl as she encounters new things. Something I enjoyed was when Abisina is forced to realize the depth of her own prejudice–something many of us never fully understand. Discovering your own prejudices and overcoming them is an excellent theme for a YA book, and you don’t need violence and sex to accomplish it!