White Cat (Curse Workers, bk 1) by Holly Black

2010
06.15


white cat
Cassel is an outsider in his own family. Of all the members of his immediate tribe, he is the only one without the power to change people’s emotions, luck, even memory with the touch of a hand, an act known in his world as “cursing.” The law prohibits those with cursing powers to wield them, so the individuals born with these abilities live on the fringes of society in loyal family groups not unlike the organized crime families of our world. Because he has no aptitude for curse work, Cassel has developed other skills, especially in the art of the con. He can set up a mark as easy as 1-2-3, and runs a pretty profitable numbers game at his boarding school. But when he wakes up standing on the roof of his dorm one night wearing only his boxers, Cassel’s legendary cool begins to crack. Is it just a case of innocent sleepwalking? Or is it possible that a diabolical curse has been laid on him? As Cassel begins to investigate, he discovers a secret about himself that ties him to the most powerful of all crime families and causes him to realize that he has been utterly betrayed by the people he trusted most—his own flesh and blood. Now Cassel has sworn revenge on the folks who made him who is. But how do you grift a grifter? How do you trick a family of supernatural con artists who know not only how to shake a mark down but also how to shake off his memories of ever even being conned? Easy. Cassel has an ace up his sleeve, and while it may look like just a scruffy white stray cat, it’s actually the key to bringing his entire family to their knees. Cassel’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. See, he’s killed before. And if he has to, he will again. This noir-ish genre-blender from urban fantasy maestro Holly Black is a heady mix of The Sopranos, Sandman and Matchstick Men, with just a dash of Harry Potter thrown in. Black takes her time explaining the complex rules of Cassel’s world, and I have to say I was impatient through the first third of the book waiting for impending wave of foreboding to crash. But just like in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, all that detail pays off big time as everything you learn in the beginning ties into a killer of a climax that kept my heart pounding through the last fifty pages. Get Cursed! (You know you want to:) Here’s more good stuff from Holly on how Cassel and his con-fam came to be:

One Response to “White Cat (Curse Workers, bk 1) by Holly Black”

  1. Kim says:

    I recently finished this book and I really liked it! I think it’s kinda like Ally Carter’s Heist Society. Anyway, I agree that the beginning is kinda slow but the ending really surprised me!

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