As the sequel to this phenomenally magical journey that is both thought provoking and emotionally charged is officially released on 11th July I thought I would revisit The Storm Keeper’s Island and refamiliarise myself with the characters, location and the all important storyline. For those of you that haven’t yet taken the journey to the Island I strongly suggest you do as I was a late reader of this title compared with some and could kick myself for not reading it sooner as there is so much I have now taken away from this book and so many children I have recommended the title to. So here is my blog on Catherine Doyle’s The Storm Keeper’s Island.
We accompany Fionn and his older sister Tara on their journey from Dublin (where they have left their mother) to the island where they are intending to stay with their grandad for the duration of the school break. Tara has stayed before and is consequently familiar with what to expect, Fionn on the other hand has never been here and so we get to experience the island from his perspective, curious and uncertain from the offset.
From early on in the story you pick up the sense that there is definitely something else going on within the island itself as there are magical undertones that indicate the island is not only alive, but that it is aware of those that inhabit it, especially Fionn. There isn’t any single one page of this book that you read that won’t feed your imagination to a whole new level especially once Fionn becomes aware of the magic that exists throughout the island and that it has a deeper more personal significance.
That comes from learning that his grandad is the islands storm keeper and Fionn learning his ancestors have also had this role, all of them invested in protecting the island and any knowledge of the magic that dwells there from outsiders. Unsure as to whether the island will choose him to be the next storm keeper but eager to fulfill his destiny if it does Fionn explores the island and its magic, becoming invested in the role his grandfather plays and everything involved in being a storm keeper.
It seems there are two that are likely to become the next storm keeper, Fionn and Tara’s boyfriend Bartley Beasley, both have an ancestral connection to the role and yet neither boy has the same personality traits. Whilst Fionn endured the journey to the island fearful of the ocean and arriving feeling uncertain he grows from strength to strength with every step he takes, challenging himself beyond his comfort zone and finding courage when the situation dictates by comparison Bartley isn’t so interested in learning anything before the role is determined and any challenge he participates in is to the immediate benefit of himself and his family.
There is so much adventure on offer to the reader of this book, the story itself is entwined with so many threads of magic, mystery, danger, suspense and at times a darkness that has you utterly gripped and you find yourself so invested in the story you cannot put the book down. It is easy to see why this book became Waterstones Book of the Month in July 2018, the month of its release as it is every bit the children’s book you would have loved during your own childhood.
Published by – Bloomsbury Publication date – 01.07.18 RRP – £6.99