FICTION

The Lost Tide Warriors

Bloomsbury. (Storm Keeper’s Island: Bk. 2). Jan. 2020. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781547602728.
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Gr 4-7–Return to Arranmore Island, where ancient Celtic mythology thrives amid 21st-century life. Book two finds Fionn learning to accept his destiny as the island’s next Storm Keeper. Struggling to access the magic awakening within him, Fionn faces an unexpected crisis: supernatural Morrigan’s evil followers are swarming Arranmore, intent on restoring her to power upon the winter solstice just three days away. Fortunately, an army of intriguing characters stands ready to help Fionn defend the island, underscoring the recurring motif that heroes don’t have to go it alone. New friend Sam Patton, whose ancestor was a Storm Keeper, is the exception to an otherwise all-white cast. A family tree of both humans and supernatural creatures would help readers keep track of the numerous characters and how they are related to each other. Fionn’s frustration with his trapped magic slows the novel’s pace and drains the spunky humor that made his character so refreshing in book one. Wit, wisdom, and a wink of Irish charm come from Grandpa-mentor Malachy. Fionn and Malachy’s deep intergenerational bond embodies the novel’s themes of remembrance and the power of family love; their scene at the action’s denouement is heartfelt and beautifully written.
VERDICT Vivid setting, perilous adventure, and distinct characters make this a strong second entry in a planned quartet. Highly recommended.

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