Storm Weaver by Matt Griffin
|Storm Weaver by Matt Griffin|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: This sequel is dark, dangerous and intriguing, a good story for kids to get stuck in to.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: April 2016|
|Publisher: The O'Brien Press|
|External links: Author's website|
In the sequel to A Cage of Roots, the four friends are journeying back to the lair from which they have just escaped. Sean, Finny and Benvy think they're trying to save the Goblins and turn them back into girls, but Ayla, who so nearly became a goblin herself, is being drawn by a greater force. As Ayla's powers emerge and grow stronger, she leads her friends on a dangerous quest, deeper into the heart of the fairy kingdom of Fal. Sean, Benvy and Finny just want to go home to Ireland, but with the war that's brewing and Ayla's part in it, they may never be able to go back home again.
The first thing to say about this book is that it's a sequel. I didn't know this before reading it and I think that this could have been made a lot clearer in the product description. So, if you do pick this up, I recommend reading A Cage of Roots first to give yourself more context.
Saying that, this book was not hard to get into as it dives straight to the story. It's set straight after the previous book finishes, so I got the gist of what was going on very quickly. The story is set over a very short period of time, most of the narrative covers the children searching through the caves of the Red Root King, which I found a bit frustrating and took a while to literally go anywhere. However, when the children did emerge from the caves and started exploring the rest of the magical landscape, the pace of the book picked up and the searching turned into action. I found the pacing of the book odd in that respect. Griffin has drawn out sequences that could have been condensed whereas important action scenes that could have been expanded upon were over very quickly.
The above criticism aside, I enjoyed this book. It's a solid children's novel with great characters and a just dark enough plot. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the monsters, and it has some really great pictures included which breathe life in to the pages. The author balances description and action very well in his writing. You get a great image of Fal without the description being overwhelming. The portrayal of the children's characters is also very sincere. The four friends are all very different , Sean is cocky, Benvy is a bit of a know it all and Sean is admittedly not brave. They argue among themselves and with Ayla, who is different from them all as she becomes further consumed by the magic that's guiding her to her evil mother.
I think this is a book confident readers could really get stuck in to. There's just enough magic and danger to keep them interested but not enough to really scare them. It's also beautifully written throughout which can be appreciated by adults and children alike. The writing captures such an Irish voice which I thought was wonderful.
If you like the sound of this, why not pick up Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo a retelling of an old story full of myth and magic and heroes.
You can read more book reviews or buy Storm Weaver by Matt Griffin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Storm Weaver by Matt Griffin at Amazon.com.
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