I picked up A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff, because it had magic in it. A very specific magic. Some people in the novel have “talents” things like baking, spitting, and choosing just the right family for orphans, that set them apart from other people. Other people, those without talents, are called Fair. It was an appealing concept, and since my current novel also uses different talents in the characters, I wanted to see how Graff handled the everyday magic in her book.
I’m not a big fan of prologues, but since this one was followed by a recipe for Mrs. Mallory’s Peach Cake, I read on instead of putting Graff’s mid-grade novel in the bag of books to go back to the library.
I’m glad I kept reading.
And even though Graff also uses 3rd person limited shifting point of view, each new chapter is seen through the eyes of a different character, a POV type that I don’t normally enjoy, I loved this book. It might be because even though the POV shifted, the protagonist was very clearly Cadence, an orphan with a talent for baking just the right cake. I love her. She is charming and flawed and quirky and a little codependent. I can relate. So, I kept reading.
The knots in the title appear in the hands of a character who moves through the distinct threads of the book first in his hot air balloon, then on a bike, and then back in the balloon, a knotted rope dangling from his suit pocket.
The title also aptly describes the many threads that, seeming tangled, draw this diverse cast of characters together. In the end we realize the threads were braided intricately, not tangled at all.