Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Title: Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Author: Jane Lindskold

Sarah has a fairly ordered life in the Home, but when a discharge order leaves her stranded on the streets, she has no idea what to do. A severe autistic who can only speak in quotes, Sarah has spent her life institutionalized. But she finds a new home with a street gang, a new life in the wild Jungle and with its compelling Head Wolf, and new troubles as her ability to hear inanimate objects brings her to the attention of ever more sinister people.

I liked the main story. Sarah’s autism blocks her from communicating in a typical way, and even though she can comprehend far more than those around her would assume, she can’t get it out. I’m doubly impressed at the difficulty writing this must have been, given the sheer volume of mostly-applicable quotes Sarah always has on hand. And the action is good, as Sarah moves from aimless confusion to a horrific knowledge of her past and her purpose.

That said, the story gets unflinchingly brutal at times. Sarah and several other characters were raped and molested as children, and the Jungle is home to young male and female prostitutes. Although the level of detail is thankfully light, the fact that it’s there at all darkens the tone considerably.

So overall, simply due to the multiple instances of child rape, I doubt I will read this again. The story does do what it set out to do relatively well, and it’s more a question of how much the content would bother you. I rate this book Neutral.

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