Safe-keepers #1. Author: Sharon Shinn.
Damiana is safe-keeper in the small village of Tambleham. Neighbors and strangers alike come one by one, in secret, to tell her things they dare not share with anyone else, knowing that Damiana will keep then to herself. One late night, a mysterious visitor from the city arrives with an unusual secret for the Safe-Keeper—a newborn baby. Damiana, who is expecting her own child, agrees to take the foundling. She names him Reed and raises him side by side with her daughter, Fiona. As the years pass and the two children grow into teenagers, they must come to terms with who they are—and who they may be. (Goodreads summary)
A lovely little tale set in a quiet medieval-style village. Sharon Shinn develops an interesting premise here, with safe-keepers, truth-tellers, and dream-granters. It’s a quieter form of magic than many fantasies, more concerned with the psychology of the human mind, what it needs and how it would react to certain things. I really liked the story. It’s not a stunning, sweeping tale by any means; just a coming-of-age story about love, siblings, and truth.
Sexual content: Woman living alone is having a baby – and refuses to reveal who the father is. Boy draws “crude pictures of naked women” on a school blackboard for mischief. Truth-teller knows the queen’s baby is not the king’s. Girl asks for potion to keep her from pregnancy until marriage – says she cannot refuse her betrothed. Woman tells secret-keeper “My daughter is bearing my husband’s child.” (Secret-keeper does arrange to remove the girl from the house and give her a new place away from the man).
Language: 8 derogatory terms, 1 d***
Violence: Man is found dead of poison by his own hand. Second-hand information that a mother was violent and abusive to her children.