Published in: 2000
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 2 in the Giver Quartet
It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
I thought the second book in this series would be Jonas’ story part two, but instead it’s a completely different cast of characters, in a different setting, dealing with a completely different society, so it’s a bit of a stumble to get into the swing of the story, almost like starting another new series. Kira’s village is more rustic and rural than Jonas’ was, the people send the sick and weak to the dying fields to be carried away or eaten by wild animals, and this is where we find Kira, whose mother just died and who herself has a deformed leg. Technically she should be in that field herself, dead, but her mother fought to keep her alive and now that she’s gone, Kira has to defend herself.
The title “gathering blue” refers to the fact that Kira is a weaver, someone who creates the coloured threads used in fabrics and weaves them into intricate designs. Her mother passed down the craft to Kira, but the one thing neither of them could manage was to make the colour blue. The process sounds really interesting, the gathering of different plants, roots, minerals etc to get the right shade of colour to dye a thread, and I would have liked it if that aspect was explored more (but then the book would be much longer and probably not as interesting to the young kids it’s aimed at).
It was an overall interesting story, really quick and easy to read, and it had a decent mystery about it that had me thinking long after finishing the story. There must be so many other villages out there in this world, each slightly different from the other, all existing in what appears to be a harsh landscape with corrupt officials running these places. I’m intrigued to see how the other two books fit into this world.
Gathering blue rating: 7/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of dystopian fiction