Monday 6 March 2017

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood: Gathering Voices by Kris Humphrey

When a raven drops a white feather at the doorstep on the day of your birth, it is a symbol of your destiny. You are a Whisperer – a guardian of the wild. 
The war against the shape-shifting Narlaw is raging. Mika and her Arctic fox companion, Star, must travel from their distant mountain home to join Dawn and the other Whisperers at the palace. The journey is fraught with danger and the outlook for the kingdom of Meridina is bleak, but Mika has discovered a gift that might just change their fortunes. Could she hold the key to defeating the Narlaw?

Gathering Voices written by Kris Humphrey

Published by Stripes in 2016 ( read via NetGalley)

Illustrated by Chellie Carroll
224 pages in paperback with illustrations
This is the third book in the Guardians of the Wild series by Kris Humphrey. (A Whisper of Wolves and Warning Cry are both reviewed on this site). It will help to read them in order – certain references will make more sense – but it’s fairly easy to work things out by various clues. This time Mika the central character has an Arctic fox, Star, as her companion.

As the overall story is coming towards a conclusion (in book four), events are becoming more dramatic. There’s a strong sense of peril throughout – and good deal of challenge for Mika to deal with. Friends will make sacrifices to help the cause – and one is truly poignant. 

A pleasing sense of environment, as seen on the bold and attractive cover, infuses the story. The bringing together of people from a variety of backgrounds to defeat an evil that threatens them all is a heartening feature of these books. Why wouldn’t you like a kind of multicultural war on misery and greed?

The magical aspects include a range of tactics and it’s good to see characters you like grow and develop their skills. There are set-backs and at least one whoa-I-didn’t-see-that-coming moment (for me, anyway.) 

In short: fast-paced fantasy adventure with a taste of nature - ideal for a quick read. The publishers recommend nine and up but some fluent younger readers might well enjoy them.

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed-and-breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You're always welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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