What first compelled me to pick up this book is its cover, which is one of the most stunning covers I have seen this year. Its a really beautiful looking book, and after reading the book you realise that the cover tells the story. Take note of the stunning landscape, the female looking out towards a boat in the water, musical notes, and ghostly characters lingering in the treetops. The cover is illustrated beautifully to depict such incredible detail, and breathe life into the scene being depicted, and will immediately catch the attention of readers.
This story is beautifully written, and tells of when a child is born on the island of Little Drum they are given a musical instrument and life song. It is a beautiful concept, and we become acquainted with Oran, who loves the importance and significance of music and song to the island, and that it ties in with the ancestors of the island too.
So imagine how the islanders feel when the Duchess arrives and bans all music and singing! Oran decides its up to her to change the Duchess’s mind, with her best friend (and ancestor) in tow they set off on an adventure to try to stop the Duchess from succeeding in bringing silence to Little Drum, and prevent the detrimental effect her actions will consequently have on the ancestors that have been a part of island life for as long as Oran can remember.
This storyline has an incredible concept, especially as you are made to believe that its you on the adventure, and has such a fantastic depth to the story that means you become so immersed and invested in the story, and find yourself hoping that Oran is successful, alongside Alick, in her plan to restore life for the islanders to the normality they are familiar with.
With a Celtic vibe, and a message of family, continuity, and coming together flowing throughout the story, this is an unforgettable story that tops the must read titles of 2021, and it is not difficult to see how Nicholas Bowling was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Award for his previous publication In The Shadow of the Heroes.
Song of the Far Isles is published by Chicken House, and is available to purchase from all good booksellers. Check out the additional stops on the Blog Tour, which continues throughout this week (12th-16th July 2021). Information on the tour can be found on the banner below.