Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan is a dark fantasy featuring multiple points of view encompassing two very different worlds. Liga lives beyond the edges of town with her father, who has been severely abusing her since her mother died. After enduring unspeakable cruelties at the hands of him and some of the town boys, Liga is magically gifted with an alternate world: her own personal heaven, given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters, the very different Branza and Urdda, grow up in this world, never having to know violence or prejudice like their mother did. Unfortunately, the real world cannot be ignored forever - men and wild bears manage to cross the borders of Liga's refuge. After spending years living in their personal heaven, can Liga, Branza, and Urdda survive in the harsh real world?
Tender Morsels was an incredibly complex and vivid story. The multiple viewpoints added depth to the story, and the description of both the real world and Liga's "heaven" were enchanting. The characters were very well-developed, and the contrast between Liga and each of her daughters was interesting to see. The principle of the story is fascinating, but I found that it, unfortunately, moved very slowly. The description is beautiful, but the lack of action refrains from keeping the book moving, so I found it hard to get through. However, the mythological roots of the book and the overlapping of the characters' stories from each point of view did make for an interesting story aside from the slow pacing. Tender Morsels was certainly very unique, dark, and vividly written, and would be perfect for fans of fantasy.
- Date of Review: July 12, 2010
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Release Date: October 14, 2008