‘Lay low and grow,’ is the motto of the waifs of Duldred Hall. The only way to escape their life of drudgery is to reach the magical height of 5 thighs 10 oggits, yet Master Jeopardine is determined to feed them little and keep them small. When the Master’s methods grow more sinister the waifs must face their doubts. What is kept in the Bone Room? Why is Rook’s Parlour locked? A new waif arrives and the fight for survival begins. But this child brings another mystery: who is Oy? – Goodreads Synopsis
Oy Yew Review
Oy Yew has a slow, special magic to it. It’s not a book that immediately draws you in, but gently ushers you in the story’s direction. The world Ana Salote has created has a sense of richness to it, though not much is seen in this first book. The main character, Oy Yew, is a gorgeous soul. The type of soul that you never have to worry about going bad, or getting spoiled by the meanness in the world. Fiercely loyal, with an innate ability to make the best of everything, and bring out the best in every one, Oy worms himself into your heart.
This story felt, strongly, as if it could have been the story of the House Elves from Harry Potter. Take away the magic, and make the elves a bit more human looking, and you’ve got it. That subservient attitude with the occasional free-thinker bucking the trend. The ridiculous punishments and gets-on-with-its. Even Master Jeopardine brings to mind a slightly more insane acting Lucius Malfoy. It’s very much it’s own story, but if you’ve read Harry Potter and felt even the tiniest flicker of sympathy for Dobby, you’ll make the connection to this book. This is not a light and fluffy story. It’s dark, sometimes disturbing, and filled with sorrow but ultimately rewarding.
Oy Yew is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, and I think hits that pretty well. However, it feels a bit long. It took me a good while to read through it on my own. I think it could have been cut down by about 30 pages, and still been just as good. Easily distracted readers will probably have problems with it. I’d highly recommend making it bedtime read, where the kids can just relax and listen to the story. Oy Yew is the first book in the Waifs of Duldred series and is available on Amazon. It’s worth the money and the time to read it.
Technical Data for the Oy Yew Review