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Sarvet's Wanderyar Kindle Edition
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Ney-Grimm writes well, and cleanly. It feels very much like home in many ways, except that the communities here have chosen to do things differently: men live in their own lodges, and so do women. The small amount of implied sexual awakening is very appropriate - you can't tell a story like this if you don't include all sides of the person; you could still read this story to children.
The problems are the same: how to grow up, how to become who you really are, what to learn - and how to love. The mother/daughter relationship is particularly well described: can we save our loved ones pain, how, and how much?
This is a world where you KNOW there are other stories, a well-constructed world that stays with you after you finish this part of Sarvet's story.
In many cultures it’s unfortunately true, young girls and women are treated as second class citizens. While they’re constantly being told what they can and can’t do, the protagonist in this story, Sarvet, has it even more difficult since she walks with a relentless shuffle.
While the Hammarleeding mountain society which she’s part of restrains all girls close to the confines of their village, Sarvet is further hindered by her own mother who relentlessly reminds her of the myriad of things she can’t do. However, her mindset does not allow this from doing the things she’s determined to do. Sarvet has to overcome the sexual discrimination which keeps her from having the opportunities the boys get through the wandaryar they receive, in other words boys are educated in ways girls are not.
This short but poignant story is one which educates its readers regarding the coming of age for its protagonist, Sarvet. Her strong will and determination takes her from being a naïve and frighten young girl into that of a knowing and astonishing woman. The story shows that dreams no matter how improbable possess the ability of becoming realities if one sets their minds into doing the impossible.
For having written this empowering story for any young who reads it, I’ve given the author, J.M. Ney-Grimm, 5 STARS for her endeavor here.
Sarvet's Wanderyar is set in the fictional gender-segregated mountain culture of the Hammarleeding, the woman-lodge called Kaunis. Sarvet chafes under the sweltering shelter of her mother. Paiam uses Sarvet's physical disability (a lame leg) to keep her from doing anything, even the things Sarvet knows she can do. However Sarvet holds a dear secret: she desperately wishes to experience the world on a Wanderyar, just like the young men of the father-lodges.
I want to start by saying Ney-Grimm's short story was a delight to read. The language was easy to consume and accessible for YA readers, which I believe are the intended audience. Even better, contrary to quite a few YA books I read when I was 13-16, Sarvet sounded and behaved like a teenage girl. I enjoyed the depth of world-building, particularly for how short the story was, and I'm always enthusiastic about exploring new gender norms. For me this was also a wonderful adventure because a major theme was that gendered norms can be changed, and the mindset required to change them.
SPOILERS: What stopped me from giving this 5/5 stars was the ableism inherent in Sarvet's tale. I realize it's a cliche of fantasy writing, but my heart sunk when the first half of the story was Sarvet working to be recognized by her mother and society at large while disabled, and the magical conclusion was that she stopped being disabled. It felt disingenuous that a major theme of this story was about how being a women shouldn't be a barrier to achieving your dreams, when being disabled was both a much bigger barrier and presented within the story as completely unsolvable (outside of magic intervention) and completely reasonable barrier.
this is a story about a girl who is born with a limp. there are things that she wants to do but people keep telling her it is not possible. she wants to prove the world that is pretty much is. i loved how the character has been sketched. done really well. i also liked the length. it is not to short neither too draggy. i like it how some authors know how much to feed the readers. overall i loved the book and recommend it to everyone who needs a role model in life. not just women.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.