Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Jane Hardstaff
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
At 11 years old, Moss is bored with living in the Tower of London. She longs to go out and explore the villages that surround the Tower. However, her dad has always told her that they are prisoners in the Tower and his job is to execute. Moss hates her job--catching the heads. After discovering that her father has lied to her for her whole life, Moss runs away to find the mill by the river where her mother died. Once there, instead of finding her mother she finds the fearsome and dreaded Riverwitch, of whom she has heard stories her whole life. The Riverwitch explains to Moss that her mother struck up a deal with her through which Moss belongs to her. Moss must escape from the clutches of this evil ghost and while doing so, save her friend.
This book outlines the struggling relationship between a single father and his daughter on the brink of teenage-hood. Moss has been longing to get outside of the only life she's ever known, similar to the longings of most teenage girls. Her father only wants to keep her safe from the unknown and mystery of London's streets, but in trying to keep her safe, he is pushing her farther away. Through seeking to find memories of her late mother, Moss is drawn closer to her father. The Executioner's Daughter teaches that through all the hardships that come your way, you don't know what you have until it's gone, and that love is the most important thing to seek after. There are elements of fantasy and slight elements of horror as the children face the Riverwitch for their lives.
*Contains mild to moderate violence and horror.