Book Review: The Huntress – Sky (Sarah Driver)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Egmont

Pages: 384

Release Date: September 7th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

Seek the scattered Storm-Opals of Sea, Sky and Land, before an enemy finds them and uses them to wield dark power. . .

The trail of the Storm-Opals takes Mouse further than she has ever been before. With her little brother Sparrow and friend Crow alongside her, she stumbles into the world of Sky, where fortresses are hidden amongst the clouds, secret libraries (skybraries) nestle atop gigantic icebergs and the sky swirls with warring tribes and their ferocious flying beasts. Can they solve Da’s message before it’s too late for their ship, their tribe and the whole of Trianukka?

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Book Review: The Huntress – Sea (Sarah Driver)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Egmont

Pages: 336

Release Date: April 6th 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.

Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka .

Review:

This book was sent to me wrapped up in a beautiful piece of fur with a gorgeous bookmark and map in a bottle. It was such a pretty package and the book lived up to it’s wrapping!

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Mouse is going to be captain of the Huntress when she grows up, but for now she has to look after her sickly brother, Sparrow. When their Da goes missing and a mysterious stranger arrives on their ship, things take a bad turn for Mouse.

This felt like a great, old-fashioned adventure story, like ones I loved when I was younger. There’s danger, there are wild beasts and animal friends, magic and fighting and a race to save a loved one. The pace is fast, the story moves quickly from one danger to the next and you’re never bored when reading it.

The language of the book is really distinctive too. Mouse’s voice is so real it was like she was speaking in my head and I could picture her really clearly. In a Q and A in the back of the book, Sarah Driver mentions reading Spellhorn and speaking like the Wild Ones after reading it, and that’s what this reminded me of (also I’d forgotten the name of that book so thanks to her for reminding me!) The Tribe have their own dialect that helps to develop their culture and makes them very memorable. The descriptions are beautifully vivid too; it’s just a delight to read.

I loved Mouse: her impulsiveness and determination and honesty just made her really likeable. She reminded me a bit of Lyra from His Dark Materials. Her ability in ‘beast chatter’ made the creatures around her more interesting too: rather than having standard talking animals, Mouse has a gift that allows her to hear them and communicate back. She talks to her sea-hawk and Sparrow’s moonsprite and uses her gift to help her on her adventures.

This is a really rich, exciting tale, beautifully told and clearly the start of an exciting series. It’s aimed at younger readers but the language can be a little complex and I think it could be a little challenging, but it’s so captivating I think adults and children alike can enjoy.

4

Book Review: The Fire Children (Lauren M. Roy)

 

 *I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


Publisher: Ravenstone
Pages: 272
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):

Two children escape the darkness of their underground dwellings, to find adventure, magic and terrible danger await anyone who ventures above ground.

 

 

Fifteen years have passed since Mother Sun last sent her children to walk the world. When the eclipse comes, the people retreat to the caverns beneath the Kaladim, passing the days in total darkness while the Fire Children explore their world. It’s death to even look upon them, the stories say.

 

 

Despite the warnings, Yulla gives in to her curiosity and ventures to the surface. There she witnesses the Witch Women — who rumors say worship dead Father Sea, rather than Mother Sun — capturing one of the Children and hauling her away. Yulla isn’t the only one who saw the kidnapping; Ember, the last of the Fire Children, reveals himself to Yulla and implores her to help.
Trapped up above and hunted by the witches and the desert wind, Yulla and Ember must find a way free his siblings and put a stop to the Witch Womens’ plans, before they can use the Fire Children to bind Mother Sun herself.

 

Review:
I didn’t really read the blurb or anything going into this so I had no idea what it was about. Overall, I did enjoy it, but I wasn’t really bowled over.My favourite thing was the world it was set in: there was so much folk-lore and history dropped about (not info-dumpy at all) and I just wanted to know more about it.

The book started off strong for me. It was easy to get into and I found it fascinating just to see the way they prepared for and got used to spending long periods of time in absolute darkness. It’s such an interesting idea. I enjoyed Yulla’s narration and found her to be a very realistic and likeable character. Her relationship with her sister was my favourite – as someone with three sisters, it felt very real: bickering and teasing but with a lot of love underneath it all.

I started to lose interest a little when Yulla came above ground. It’s a shame, because this should have been the really interesting, exciting part, but I found it a little action heavy and hard to follow, and had to force myself to get through some bits.

I thought the actual Fire Children were really fun to read about, especially seeing the way Ember and Yulla interacted with each other, as he’s basically a demi-god to her. But the romance side of their relationship felt a little weird and quite sudden: not really insta-love as such, it just moved from awkwardness to kissing pretty quick.

This is an enjoyable fantasy read with a brilliant, beautiful setting in  a world I’d really like to read more of. The adventure side of it fell a little short for me, but I think others will really enjoy it.

My Verdict:
 
 

I enjoyed – give it a read

If you enjoyed this, you may also like Song Quest by Katherine Roberts