Plain Kate is a carver in her village and times are hard. There is sleeping death creeping down the river and people are suspicious of witches and quick to accuse people of witchcraft.
Kate's father dies leaving her completely alone. She survives on her own talents in the village for awhile before leaving her village after making an exchange with a magician.
Kate is accompanied on her journey by a talking cat named Taggle. Since I have a cat who meows in syllables, for example "meow, meow, meow, meow" sounds like "Where have you been", I can completely appreciate a book with a talking cat companion.
The writing in this book is beautiful and the story telling is amazing. Throughout the book I found myself sad for Kate's loneliness, amazed by Kate's world, scared for Kate and hopeful for Kate.
I made the mistake of finishing this book while on the elliptical at the gym. I don't recommend this because I found myself trying not to cry at the end of the book. I recommend that readers finish this book at home with a box of tissues and a kitty that reminds you of Taggle by your side.