Book 82 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from October 12 - 18
The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff
Book 1 in The Executioner's Daughter series
Summary (via the book jacket)
A child that is born to the river shall return to the river.
All her life, Moss has lived in the Tower of London with her father, who serves as the executioner for King Henry VIII. Prisoners condemned to death must face Pa and his axe - and Moss, who holds the basket that will catch their severed heads.
Twelve years you shall have. To love her. To hold her.
With the king sending more enemies to the block each day, Moss knows she can't bear to be the executioner's daughter any longer. She's desperate to see the outside world, especially the River Thames, which flows just beyond the Tower's walls. Even the chilling stories about the Riverwitch, who snatches children from the shore, won't stop her.
After that, the child belongs to me.
When Moss finally finds a way out of the Tower, she discovers the river holds more danger than she imagined - including the Riverwitch's curse. The Riverwitch once helped Moss's family in exchange for a terrible bargain; now she expects Moss to pay the debt.
Although the ending went off the rails a bit, it was fine for a juvenile book and kept my interest enough that I'll read the sequel.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"And though the crowd pressed [Moss] from all sides, she caught a glimpse of the sprawling city beyond. It was smoke and shadows, dark as a cellar. A mystery. A place she would never go. Her world was the Tower. And the only time she set foot outside its walls was the slow walk to the scaffold on Execution Day."
"When your mother died, I promised I would keep you safe. That day, the day you were born, something was done. Something that cannot be undone."