Oh what a glorious, triumphant end to the Brightstorm trilogy! 'Firesong' is a fitting ending with thrills, surprises and a lot of love. Vashti Hardy has written a series that has been utterly immersive and full of daring adventures that excite the imagination and set the heart aglow. My previous reviews of: Brightstorm and Darkwhispers.
Arthur, Maudie, and the rest of the Aurora crew are going on a mission to the Volcanic North, where years before their parents discovered the moth that is their family symbol. But their scheming, ambitious aunt, Eudora Vane, is still dedicated to destroying the Brightstorm family name, and the further north the Aurora travels, the more long-buried secrets are revealed...
Wow! What to say? This is such an incredible finale. While being the longest of the trilogy, it is arguably the most exciting and absorbing. Arthur and Maudie are growing up and Vashti Hardy has written a more muscular, sophisticated and daring story to reflect that her readership may have grown up too. As always, the world-building is extraordinary and descriptions of Lontown and the volcanic North crackle and roar from the page. This is truly an explosive conclusion. New characters feel like old friends and Vashti Hardy skillfully balances an ensemble cast with boldness, care and a lot of love. Hugo is a caring man, who is nonetheless mysterious. Gan is a wild, courageous princess who tests Arthur and Maudie's growing maturity. Young characters become mentor figures and there is a lovely feeling of cyclical change as dependants become dependable and begin to nurture the next generation. Through all the fabulous, perilous explorations, the Brightstorm trilogy is as much about what family and friendship means, and it feels the most tender and reflective in 'Firesong'.
There are huge surprises here that expand the Wide and test our heroes to the limit. This is as much of a beginning as an ending too... I don't want to say much more as I would ruin the fun! Because Vashti Hardy is one of the best contemporary children's authors to write dazzling, imaginative adventures that sing with joy, roar with love and electrify the imagination, and I wouldn't want to spoil the ride, would I? If you haven't read the trilogy, what are you waiting for? Plunge in, take flight and enjoy the adventures with the Brightstorm crew!