Fire Dreamer by Beth Webb
|Fire Dreamer by Beth Webb|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Blending ancient history with mystery and adventure, Beth Webb continues her Star Dancer series with as much, if not more, verve and style than the first volume. Smashing stuff and recommended for all fans of historical fantasy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: June 2008|
After saving her village from a demon in the first book in the series, we meet Tegen again as she is making her way to Mona to undertake training as a druid. Tegen meets up with the mysterious Owein - a lame man with druidic knowledge but who carries a king's seven colour cloak in his baggage and can read Latin. Owein is going to the Lughnasadh fairs and he's sure Tegen will find a druid there who will conduct her to Mona. But Owein's secrets bring Tegen to the attention of a powerful sorcerer. Between this Shadow Walker and the invading Romans, Tegen's path to becoming a druid proves as fraught with danger as ever.
Although remaining centred on Celtic tradition and religion, this second book in the Star Dancer series gives Beth Webb the chance to introduce another ancient culture to her readers. She proves equally adept at writing about the Romans as she does about the Celts. Her interest is daily life, and the descriptions of routines of a Roman fort in the outer reaches of its empire are as vivid and accurate as those of the Lughnasadh fairs.
Superstition, religion, the notion of a spirit world that is as part and parcel of daily life as eating, sleeping and washing is a strong theme. Tegen barely passes an hour before she prays, or makes an offering, or communicates with the Otherworld as part of the land all around her. But the action comes thick and fast and the novel never appears didactic. Tegen is a strong female character in an historical setting that enables a credible strong female character and she passes every test she is set, gaining maturity and insight with every step along the way. In Fire Dreamer she is tempted and painfully loses some naivety.
I think I liked Fire Dreamer even more than Star Dancer. The clash of cultures between Celt and Roman added an extra fillip for me. I can't wait for the next instalment. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fantasy aged from about ten to about fourteen - girls and boys.
My thanks to the nice people at Macmillan for sending the book.
If they liked Fire Dreamer, they might also enjoy Bloodline by Katy Moran about Essa, a boy from Dark Ages Britain who also possesses supernatural abilities.
You can read more about Beth Webb here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fire Dreamer by Beth Webb at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fire Dreamer by Beth Webb at Amazon.com.
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