Dr. Abigail Sylva is a professor of Ethnobotany. If you know me a bit, you already know that I was completely taken by a character who studies the relationship between people and the greenery of the world. Abigail is not the main character of G.P. Ching’s The Soulkeepers, but she is the one who stayed in my mind. I was surprised by her. First, I was somewhat confused by her role in the novel, then I thought I had figured her out, just to find out my assumptions were totally wrong; I loved that. G. P. Ching has won me over with her pacing .
One of the things that attracted me to Abigail, aside from the Ethnobotany bit, is a feeling that her life is a perfect reflection of the novel’s story line. She lives between worlds, cultures and philosophies. Also, her knowledge of magical herbs (she doesn’t call them that) is very impressive. She uses them in the same ways Witches do and I love a story that shows good research.
Blurb: When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. Made a ward of his uncle and thousands of miles from home, a beautiful and mysterious neighbor, Dr. Abigail Silva, offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. In exchange, she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a biologically gifted warrior charged with protecting human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions Dr. Silva's motives for helping him.