The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone
|The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: The final instalment of the Dream Snatcher trilogy in which the adventures of Moll and her tribe reach a thrilling climax is a very special story of friendship, bravery and, most of all, of hope. This is highly recommended for lovers of adventure stories.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: February 2017|
|Publisher: Simon and Shuster Children’s Books|
|External links: Author's website|
The final, and in my opinion the best, book in the Dream Snatcher trilogy opens with Moll and Gryff back in Tanglefern Forest about to embark on their quest to find the last Amulet of Truth and defeat the terrible Shadowmasks and their dark magic once and for all. Their adventure begins with a night time journey by train to the far north where Moll and her friends must brave the barren northern wilderness, scale mountainous peaks, defeat goblins, bog-monsters, witches and giants while the sinister and evil Shadowmasks lurk unseen but always present. All the time Moll clings to the faint hope that her friend Alfie is not lost to them for ever.
Having followed Moll and her friends from the start I loved how much the characters have developed in this final story. Moll is a hero for today’s generation being brave, determined, resilient and loyal and, now she has matured, able, usually, to curb her impatience and impetuous behaviour when needed. Throughout the story the reader becomes aware of her thoughtfulness and kindness too. Her friend Siddy is now a much braver soul now but is still drawn to pets with a difference, this time a ferret called Frank who adds a touch of humour to the story. The central partnership of Moll and Gryff is key to the series and I know many young readers are particularly drawn to the wildcat. I thought some of the new characters had a striking impact too, in particular Kittlerumpit and Bruce.
Abi Elphinstone has again created a world that feels very real to the reader and this time the landscape is inspired by her native Scotland. The vivid descriptions convey a sense of scale and once again this highlights the enormity of the task facing the children. The map by Thomas Flintham at the beginning of the book is a lovely touch and enables the reader to follow the children’s trek and adds to the feeling of being part of Moll’s world. I also loved the train journey at the start of the story and this reminded me of my own childhood. There is a lovely slightly traditional feel to this story despite its setting in a magical world. At times it is scary but never too scary for its intended audience and children will be united in their wish to see their heroes beat the baddies.
Although at over 300 pages this is quite a big read for an eight or nine year old the adventure races along and keeps the reader’s attention whilst still managing to allow time for characters to develop and thoughtful conversations to take place. The final third of the book in particular was totally gripping and I found the ending a very moving and fitting finale to the story.
In addition to being a brilliant adventure story for children this is also a story that children can learn much from. It is a wonderful example of the importance of friendship and loyalty but most importantly of never giving up hope. That is, I think, a valuable message for children. I am quite sad to say goodbye to Moll and her tribe of friends but looking forward to seeing what the author does next.
Thank you to the publishers for providing this review copy. Moll’s adventures began in The Dreamsnatcher and it is best to start the story with that book to gain the most from this series. If you are looking for more books that are similar to Moll and her tribe’s adventures the Bookbag has compiled a helpful list that you may find useful: Top Ten Books for Young Readers That Feature a Passage Between Worlds
You can read more book reviews or buy The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone at Amazon.com.
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