Gods and Warriors (1) by Michelle Paver
|Gods and Warriors (1) by Michelle Paver|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Action-packed story set in the Bronze Age and featuring children with animal helpers. Fans of Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series will love this one, too. We certainly did.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: August 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013
Oh, I'm so glad this series has finally arrived! Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness about Torak and Renn and Wolf is my absolute favourite middle grade sequence of recent years. Michelle has a such a way of writing. Her books are identifiably children's books - there's no diluting attempt at crossover fiction. Her research is impeccable but she uses it to flavour and colour her stories, never to be didactic. She writes from the point of view of animals but is never twee and anthropomorphic. Her characters - human and animal - are truly alive; vital and colourful and, as in all good children's books, called upon to show extraordinary courage. There's a little bit of magic but not enough to get in the way of the story or the characters, and it's all in keeping with prehistoric, superstitious societies.
Gods and Warriors is set in the Mycenean Bronze Age, a couple of thousand years after Torak, but it has all the elements that made the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness so wonderful. This time, there are three children in the mix - Hylas, an Outsider; a poor goatherd, Telamon, a wealthy chieftain's son, and Pirra, the daughter of a high priestess, destined for an arranged marriage but longing for freedom. This first book concentrates on Hylas, who is caught up in the chase to recover a sacred dagger. The dagger has disappeared and without it, the Crows believe they are no longer invincible. Thinking it stolen away by an Outsider, the Crows are ruthless in their search. They kill Hylas's friend and, in the ensuing chaos, Hylas and his little sister are separated. She'll never survive alone, so he must find her...
Hylas is tough and self-sufficient, but he knows little of the world outside the mountainside on which he tends his goats. Telamon is caught between loyalties - to his friend, his father, his clan and his honour. Pirra is used to a luxurious world but ease means nothing to her without freedom. As the story goes on, there is quite a bit of conflict in their relationships with one another and Hylas and Pirra in particular must learn to put trust in another person. And then, of course, there's Spirit, the dolphin who befriends Hylas and whose voice adds so much to the book as he glories in his watery world.
Yes! Hurrah! It's just as lovely as I thought it was going to be. Roll on book two!
I think you'd also like Katherine Langrish's Troll series, which blends tales of Vikings with the supernatural. And also Bloodline by Katy Moran, in which a subtle fantasy element lends magical depth to a powerful narrative about Dark Ages Britain.
You can read more book reviews or buy Gods and Warriors (1) by Michelle Paver at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Gods and Warriors (1) by Michelle Paver at Amazon.com.
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