I have been in eager anticipation of this final instalment of 'The Storm Keeper's Island' series and I'm happy to say that the 'The Storm Keepers' Battle' lives up to expectations. This is an epic, edge-of-your-seat finale that pushes the magic of Arranmore to the limits. Catherine Doyle doesn't hold back on delivering a spell-binding and exhilarating ending to her wonderful trilogy.
My review of 'The Storm Keeper's Island': here.
My review of 'The Lost Tide Warriors': here.
Fionn is on his own. He has two candles left to burn and he still can't control his magic. The evil sorceress Morrigan has risen with an army of Soulstalkers at her command. While her power reaches its zenith, Fionn must master his. It is down to him to save the soul of Arranmore island: his family, his friends, the community, its history and its incredible magic. A battle begins...
What I have loved most about this series is Doyle's masterly weaving of the magic and the real. For example, after encountering a magical flying horse, Fionn and his friends retreat into playing a game of Mario Kart. The peril, the magic, is always offset or juxtaposed with the ordinary and in this way the magic is made richer and the stakes heightened. Fionn is flawed, and even until the final moments we are never too sure if he has it in him to defeat Morrigan and save the island and its occupants. In fact, there is a lot you can learn from this book by just looking at the placement of the apostrophe in the title. Fionn needs help! And this makes for tense, thrilling reading. I can't help but compare it to the final battle at Hogwarts in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' where everything comes to a head in epic, gruelling, heart-wrenching fashion. This is the same. If 'The Storm Keeper's Island' was a slower, dazzling introduction to the magic of Arranmore then this is the fast-paced, explosive finale. It's interesting that at one point there was mention of this being a 4 book series and if Doyle has combined ideas from the third and fourth into this one then it pays off - it's tight, tense and the pages fly. Like Fionn on his magic horse, 'The Storm Keepers' Battle' sweeps you off from the first chapter and doesn't lose its grip.
Now what to say, apart from that I'm sad it's all over! This has been a series that has inspired and delighted me. This is a trilogy that will last: children's fiction at its finest.