The Truth Sayer: March of the Owlmen by Sally Prue
|The Truth Sayer: March of the Owlmen by Sally Prue|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: The second in a series of books about Nian, the Truth Sayer, and his contact with worlds other than his own. It's more of the same - exciting, yet comforting, and with an underlying coming-of-age theme. This one is slightly darker than the last. Highly enjoyable.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2008|
|Publisher: Oxford University Press|
Things are very slowly getting back to some semblance of normality in the House of Truth. Nian is back from his foray into another world, and despite being recognised as the Truth Sayer, he's knuckling back down to his lessons with the other gifted boys. However, things won't ever return to quite the way they were. The rift between worlds didn't only cause half the house to collapse, it also drained the Lords of much of their power. Reconstruction continues, but it's going to take the Lords a long, long time to recover fully. And that leaves untried, untested Nian as the most powerful person around. It's a daunting, lonely feeling, and Nian is uncomfortably aware that they are vulnerable.
So when the first owlman arrives and everyone feels its malice and its threat, and even Nian can't find the truth of it, we know there's trouble in store....
And away we go into another exciting adventure. It's a fun, imaginative tale, March of the Owlmen. There's a lot of invention and a lot of action and everything zooms along swimmingly well - for the reader, if not for Nian. The owlmen prove to be only the beginning of his troubles. It's the power sending them through the void that really worries him.
Although the narrative takes in some fairly hair-raising adventures - those owlmen are horribly vicious - the book has a very homely feel to it. The emotional landscape is utterly familiar and is all about children needing friends and support and learning to cope with increasing responsibility as they get older. It's also all about how easy it can be to feel isolated - both Nian and Pella - the otherworlder who turns out to be sending the owlmen to the House of Truth - resent their powers because of this - and how easy it also is to react to feeling different in a negative and self destructive manner. The contrast between the two lead characters in March of the Owlmen shows this in an easy-to-understand and sympathetic way.
But mostly, it's another fun fantasy adventure in the House of Truth. Every character has depth and there are some very funny cameos, particularly from the Lords, who lost most of their powers because of Nian's shenanigans in the first book. He may have saved the world, but he hasn't done their egos any good. It's nicely written in an easy with plenty of nods to the real world that every child will recognise. Perfect for junior fantasy fans aged eight to eleven or so.
My thanks to the nice people at OUP for sending the book.
If they enjoyed March of the Owlmen, they might also like Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Truth Sayer: March of the Owlmen by Sally Prue at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Truth Sayer: March of the Owlmen by Sally Prue at Amazon.com.
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