• Pages:256
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:Irish legend, magic, transformation, sorcerer, Celtic mythology
  • Available:04/01/2010
  • Lexile:910L
  • ATOS:6.2
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.
"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."
– CD Syndicated
"Basic human emotions - fear, love, greed - move the tale along, and short first-person narratives that personalize the action are interspersed throughout."
– Booklist
"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."
– January Magazine
"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."
– Quill & Quire
"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."
– CM Magazine
"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."
– Storytellers of Ireland
"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."
"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."
– The StarPhoenix
"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."
– School Library Journal
"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."
– Library Media Connection
"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."
"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."
– Resource Links
"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."
– TriState YA Book Review
"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."
– What If? Magazine
"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."
"Perfect for readers who want an exciting adventure that makes them wonder."
– Tucson Unified School District
"Recommended to readers who love fantasy, great prose, and a wonderful epic story."
– BookLinx
"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."
– Amy's Marathon of Books blog
Resource Links, The Year's Best Books   | 2010  |  Commended
Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards - Snow Willow   | 2011  |  Nominated
TriState Young Adult Book Review Committee Book of Note   | 2011  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens   | 2011  |  Commended
The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic   | 2011  |  Short-listed