Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Lady Catherine Archer, the heroine of Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein, is an orphan without a cent to her name until she is called by Queen Elizabeth to be one of her maids of honor. At Queen Elizabeth’s court she soon catches the eye of Sir Walter Ralegh, a man with ambitions to establish a colony in wild, unexplored Virginia. Unfortunately, the queen also has her heart set on Ralegh, and banishes Catherine to the colony of Roanoke in Virginia when she hears of their romance.

Catherine, now called Cate, embarks on the dangerous voyage, filled with hope and eager to start a new life. When she reaches Roanoke, she and the other settlers find that life is harder than they imagined, and must deal with hostile natives, hunger, and poor leadership. Cate befriends an Indian named Manteo, who aids the colony and helps them survive. Eventually, Cate and the remaining colonists live with the natives because of near starvation and dwindling numbers. Back in England, Sir Ralegh longs to be reunited with his Lady Catherine and convinces the queen to let him go back to Roanoke to reclaim her. Cate must decide whether to embrace her new identity and make a new life with Manteo, or go back to England with Sir Ralegh.

Cate of the Last Colony is a historical fiction novel that, through the eyes of Catherine Archer, tells the story of what happened to the colony of Roanoke. Cate of the Last Colony was an engaging, fast-paced book that wove historical details with fictional material. The heroine, Catherine Archer, was a lively, spirited young woman who was both sincere and relatable to the reader. The setting of bleary, rugged Virginia was made clear by the descriptive language found in the book. I enjoyed how the narrators changed from Sir Ralegh to Manteo to Cate throughout the book, and thought it provided more information to all sides of the story. The characters were, for the most part, strongly supported, and I found myself relating to brave, quick-witted Cate. I was pleased with the higher level of vocabulary and found the content appropriate for the age level the book was written for. I liked this book better than the other I read by the same author. I enjoyed the ending, even though it was a bit predictable. I thought it was an excellent example of historical fiction, and I would recommend it to girls interested in the Elizabethan era and the colonization of America.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside, WI U.S.