Having read the wonderful 'Storm Keeper's Island', I was thrilled to finally get around to reading its marvellous sequel 'The Lost Tide Warriors'. And, wow, I think I love this one even more. Catherine Doyle has done an incredible job of deepening the mythology, raising the stakes and introducing new characters to love and loathe going forward. This really is a modern fantasy series to rival the classics of the past!
The evil sorceress Morrigan is to rise from her sleep. Soulstalkers are arriving on Arranmore, threatening to destroy the island. And Fionn's magic as the Storm Keeper isn't working! As his grandfather's memory fades, Fionn must find a way to summon Dagda's merrows from the seas to help save the island all on his own. But how can he do that when no-one seems to think he is capable of being a Storm Keeper at all?
I love Doyle's writing. She conjures words like a sorceress, creating atmosphere and tension without letting down the pace. Arranmore is drenched in mystery, history, heart and eeriness. But it is Doyle's characters that make it all worthwhile; every character on the island is beautifully rendered, to be either loved or loathed. Like in Hogwarts, everyone on Arranmore seems to have a part to play and more so in this sequel. At its heart, the relationship between Fionn and his grandfather is everything. By the end, I was utterly touched and I can't wait to see how Fionn grows in the next book. Like Will in Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising', Fionn is a brilliant character who has to face insurmountable challenges as both a boy and as something much more - something older, magical and wiser. The weight of his responsibility is so well-written and his journey through these books is a joy to read.
Not only that but 'The Lost Tide Warriors' has splashes of magic, weird sea-creatures, thousands of candles to line a coast, and tidal waves of action which crash and dazzle with terror and delight. Brimming with imagination and wonder, there is much to enjoy here. I can't wait to hear what the next book in this quartet will be! Keep doing what you're doing, Doyle, it's bloody brilliant!
My review of 'The Storm Keeper's Island' here: https://www.chrissoul.co.uk/the-storm-keeper-s-island