The Lost Tide Warriors

The much anticipated sequel to The Storm Keepers Island has arrived (if you have yet to read The Storm Keeper’s Island you can read my blog here), and it was worth the wait! Prepare yourself for the second instalment of the most unbelievable journey into a world of magic, suspense, and mystery. Returning to the world of storm keeper Fionn Boyle, his sister Tara, Mother and Grandad (who was the previous storm keeper on the island) on the island that harbours so much magical charm and potential, and the mere mention of a candle being lit has your holding your breath in expectation. If like me you think The Storm Keepers Island is the absolute pinnacle of children’s literature then buckle yourself in for the voyage ahead for The Lost Tide Warriors brings you even more from the magical island, taking you to new depths as you accompany Fionn on his journey to ensure the islands survival.

Returning to Fionn Boyle less then six months after the end of The Storm Keeper’s Island ended we find him annoyed that he isn’t able to complete anything relating to magic, not even manipulating the flame of a candle. It seems Fionn has lost his magical ability and he gets more and more frustrated especially when Soulstalkers start to arrive on the island in large numbers, walking around unblinking and waiting for the right moment to raise the witch Morrigan from where she lies, awoken but not yet freed.

Fionn knows he cannot win against Morrigan and her army of Soulstalkers and realising that he has to do something for there to be any chance of victory his only hope is to go in search of the Merrow, the mermaid type creatures created by Dagda the last time an army was needed in order to confront Morrigan. With his grandad’s memory failing him more and more each day Fionn is concerned about involving the older man with the conundrum he faces as to where to look for the Merrow and yet there is always the possibility that one of the many candles his grandad created during his time as storm keeper could have just what he needs to take him in the right direction so Fionn enquires with his predecessor on the matter and soon they are off with a candle in hand, ready to relive the memory it holds and hopeful it will prove significant.

It is these memories coming to life from the lighting of a candle and being retold to Fionn et al that for me personally take these stories Catherine Doyle has written to the next level of children’s literature as we consequently become immersed within additional worlds that are so believable, realistic and thought engaging, and which give additional depth and layering to the main skeleton story that runs through the books entirety. With each whoosh of a candle wick coming to life the reader embarks on an emotional journey depending on the destination and content and given that each candle was created including a personal connection to the storm keepers life, it is understandable that each one is shrouded in as much emotion as it is mystery, danger and knowledge.

Keen to live up to his role as the appointed storm keeper Fionn enlists the help of his friends Sam and Shelby in his search for the elusive Merrow whilst the rest of the island have other ideas as they grow more concerned by their vulnerability without an operational leader. Using rhymes he hears in his dreams as well as those from the locals combined with other relevant findings Fionn grows confident he is heading in the right direction, but time is running out and the numbers of Soulstalkers is terrifying.

This truly is a masterpiece title, with so many sentences rolling off the tongue and conjuring the most amazing imagery in the mind like poetry written by such greats as Keats to give an example. That the story has so much more entwined around and into it and we as the reader are so easily able to keep up is a true credit to the author who has the most amazing talent for placing just the right amount of information in front of you but not declaring the relevance of it too soon. The Lost Tide Warriors is the second in a quartet of books that are impossible to put down and take middle grade fiction to a whole new level, so much so I wouldn’t be surprised if this book became part of the national curriculum and in doing so would enthuse a whole new generation of readers and writers.

Published by – Bloomsbury Publication date – 11.07.19 RRP – £6.99 (PB)

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