The Lion of Sole Bay by Julia Jones
|The Lion of Sole Bay by Julia Jones|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An adventure story for tweens of the sort that used to be written and which keeps you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Golden Duck|
|External links: Author's website|
Luke wasn't going away with his mother and brother at half-term. He was planning on spending it with his father restoring an old fishing boat on Fynn Creek. His mother dropped him off on her way to the airport and he sped away to the boat to wait for his father. Angel needed excitement and that was how she ended up in the locked boatyard with some lads and it was their larking around which knocked the prop from under a boat which then toppled and trapped a workman. The lads dashed away with Angel's screams to ring for an ambulance ringing in their ears. Angel stayed with the man until she heard the sirens. The man was Luke's father.
We've met Luke before in the Strong Winds Trilogy and we certainly know the area around Fynn Creek and the River Deben, but this time we're going to dig a little deeper as the story is based on research into the provenance of a carved figure which has been a Suffolk pub sign for about three hundred years. It was originally from a warship which was captured in the course of the Battle of Sole Bay in 1672. In our story it seems that the animosity which arose from the battle between the English and the Dutch hasn't entirely worked itself out and the women living on the boat berthed next to Luke on Fynn Creek seem not to be quite as innocent as they would have everyone believe.
Julia Jones is an exceptional author but she has two great strengths when it comes to writing adventure books for tweens. She understands boys in the pre-teen age group and brings them off the page brilliantly. When you read about Luke you will know him. He's not yet a man but he's certainly not a boy any longer and he's got all the strengths and insecurities which go with the territory. He's a wonderful creation and you want to hug him but sense that you might have to settle for a manly punch on the shoulder. I loved Angel too - the girl who can't seem to do right but who has a sense of what's right which could shame many adults. I particularly felt for her parents, who so want to do their best for their daughter but who must feel that they're fighting a losing battle on occasions.
Her other strength is water. She never dumbs down when she's talking about boats or the water on which they sail (or any other time, actually!) and you'll sense exactly what it's like to be in a boat, whether it's in a kayak in the calm water of Fynn Creek or an out-of-control boat on the North Sea. Add to this an adventure story which had me biting my nails and some elegant twists and turns in the story all accompanied by wonderful illustrations from Claudia Myatt and I'm sure that you'll understand why I feel more than a little bit enthusiastic about the book! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The Strong winds Trilogy begins with The Salt-Stained Book. If you haven't read it, you really should.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Lion of Sole Bay by Julia Jones at Amazon.
The Lion of Sole Bay by Julia Jones is in the Top Ten Self-Published Books 2013.
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