“Isle of Winds is the first instalment in a Middle-Grade age fantasy series.
Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.
But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.
Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…
Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.
There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.
Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.
Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.
Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.”
What I thought:
Isle of Winds was my second read by this author. Hell’s Teeth was a massive success for me, so I had to read this one, too!
As it turns out, Isle of Winds is nothing like Hell’s Teeth. In fact, the two couldn’t be more different! Isle of Winds is magical, enchanting, and the effortless writing and inclusion of magic in our world reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s writing several times. If that’s not enough to convince you, read on 🙂
Any minute now, Gran was going to jump out of a bush, crying “I got you! Snakes and ashes!”, and they would go home again.
But of course, being dead, she didn’t do that.
To summarise, Isle of Winds is about a boy, Robin, who doesn’t realise how special he is until his eccentric and wonderfully weird grandmother dies, and he has to move in with his aunt – who happens to live in a mansion, complete with large gardens, strange doors, and – oh, yes – an entrance to the Fae realm.
My personal highlights were the dialogue, which was natural and smooth and made the characters all the more real (in their magical strangeness), and Erlking, the mansion Robin’s aunt has been the warden of for many years. It’s made it onto my list of fictional places I need to visit, so if anyone could forward a form or something I can fill in, that’d be great!
The characters are well developed and the world, especially the Fae realm’s ties with our world, is beautifully created. While all the characters bring something unique to the story my personal favourite was Woad for his childish, eccentric personality.
“Old stories and tales,” he said eventually, with an air of dismissal. “I stopped believing in prophecies long ago. Stories don’t keep you warm at night, or out food in your stomach.” He narrowed his eyes at Karya. “Not all that is broken can be fixed, little twig.”
“Hope is never broken,” Karya replied, levelly meeting his gaze.
While this book is targeted at a younger audience I didn’t feel like it was too young for me. It’s a magical tale about adventure, friendship and bravery, and as such works well for any audience. It’s an easy recommendation for me!
Have you read Isle of Winds? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
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