The Ingo Chronicles: Stormswept by Helen Dunmore
|The Ingo Chronicles: Stormswept by Helen Dunmore|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Hooray! Ingo returns! New characters and a brand new introduction to Helen Dunmore's undersea world in a beautiful, magical story about history, music, and the special relationship between twins.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: January 2012|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
|External links: Author's website|
Morveren and her twin sister Jenna live with their parents in an isolated community on an island off the coast of Cornwall. A causeway leads to the mainland at low tide but at high tide they are cut off. Music is intrinsic to the islanders and Morveren's little brother Digory has a special talent for playing the violin. One day, he will play the special violin of island legend, but for now, Conan's fiddle sits high on a shelf waiting for him.
After a wild storm one night, Morveren finds a beautiful boy lying injured on the beach. Going to his rescue, she is shocked to discover that he is not human but Mer. Determined to save Malin and return him to his people, Morveren is shocked to discover that Jenna won't believe her. When the world of Ingo and Air collide there is always danger and Morveren must face it without the support of her twin...
Oh, how wonderful. More Ingo! I felt quite bereft when the original quartet in this series was over. I wish I'd known there would be more in the offing! In Stormswept, we have new central characters, both human and Mer. But we have the same blend of fantasy and realism.
Morveren and Jenna's relationship as twins growing from children to adults provides the kitchen sink drama. The sisters have always been close, with that special, almost telepathic, bond that is peculiar to twins. But now they are growing up and Moreven is wild, impulsive and romantic, while Jenna is patient, kindly and practical. Jenna doesn't hear the Mer's music as Morveren does - as much because she doesn't want to as because she isn't able to. The sisters reminded me very much of Susan and Lucy in Narnia - one embracing the mysterious, the other keeping her feet very firmly on the ground.
The rescue and return of Malin and the mystery of Conan's fiddle provides the fantasy element and it's as beautiful as ever. Dunmore's Mer are wild and fierce but their world view is Gaia-inspired and imbued with a deep respect for every living being and an understanding that one part of the web cannot function without each and all of the others. Malin is defensive and suspicious with Morveren at first but, once she has earned his trust, he gives her his friendship and loyalty with the kind of commitment that makes even an ancient old battleaxe like me go weak at the knees.
I love Ingo. I love the way Helen Dunmore writes about this world with such intensity and romanticism. More please, Helen! And then more. And more. Pretty please. With a jelly tot on top.
Don't forget to read the original Ingo series. It's absolutely unforgettable. For more classy mermaid fiction, you could also look at Selina Penaluna by Jan Page, a lyrical book in which an old woman looks back over her wartime childhood and finally makes peace with her past.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ingo Chronicles: Stormswept by Helen Dunmore at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ingo Chronicles: Stormswept by Helen Dunmore at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.