The Storm Keeper’s Island
Written by Catherine Doyle
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Publication date: 12th July 2018
Summary (from Goodreads):
Fionn Boyle and his older sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on the remote island of Arranmore for the summer. Though Fionn has never met his grandfather before – an eccentric old man who lives in a tiny cottage filled to the brim with candles – he knows he comes from a long line of brave lifeboat men, who wear the sea behind their eyes.
Fionn is scared of the sea. He has no interest in adventure or shipwrecks or the restless wind that rustles through the island, as though in search of something. But an old magic is stirring deep inside the layers of Arranmore, and it is calling out to Fionn. A dark storm is coming, through time and over sea, the same storm that took his father twelve years ago. To protect his family, Fionn must embrace his destiny as the Storm Keeper’s heir and face the fear that has haunted him for as long as he can remember.
Why I can’t wait to read this book:
(I am actually cheating a little with this as I have read an e-ARC already and absolutely adored it! However, I am still eagerly anticipating the publication date because I can’t wait to get my hands on a few finished copies and start pushing this book into the hands of lots of other readers!)
- Fantasy, set in Ireland = sign me up! I grew up immersed in folklore, legend and tales of ‘the wee folk’ and the culture of storytelling is so strong in my country so I am excited to see a middle-grade fantasy set here.
- It is set in the Aran Islands – when most people think of Ireland they already think of it as an island, but often don’t think of the hundreds of tiny islands around the main one, some inhabited by humans and others only by seabird colonies. I think island cultures often have specific cultures or traditions which separate them from the ‘mainland’ so it is great to see some of these less well-known stories coming to light.
- I love fantasy and this story has layers of folklore, fantasy and magical realism – all accepted as part of every day life by the islanders!
- I have a soft spot for eccentric old people, both in real-life and in stories. People have so many stories stuffed inside them, old people more than most, so I love taking the time to hear these stories and share in their knowledge. Fionn’s grandfather is a fantastic character who wields a lot of power, but is also beginning to suffer from some of the vagaries of old age.
- The story reminds me of the long summer holidays that seemed to stretch on forever when I was a kid. We used to spend every summer on the beach, climbing hills, in the sea – in a way, getting closer to the roots of the stories we were raised on. I like how Fionn and Tara are coming away from the city and doing the same.
- The sea is almost a character in its own right in this story. Having grown up next to and surrounded by the sea, this really resonated with me. The sea can be playful but also dangerous, calm or raging.
What do you think?
Is this book on your TBR pile too or are you planning to add it?
Which books are you eagerly anticipating?
While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of some other great middle-grade books such as Ban This Book, Flower Moon, Shadow Weaver, The Bookshop Girl, How To Catch a Witch, Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball or Do You Speak Chocolate?
Thanks for reading!