As always with a series, you hope the second, third, fourth (or more) books hold up against the explosive first book. It’s a requirement isn’t it? A driving need, because you loved that first book so much you’re expecting something greater – or at least on the same level – of that first in the series.
I’ve been disappointed before. Hello Hunger Games, I’m looking at you. But I’ve also been pleasantly surprised and delighted with others. I mean, if you’re looking for great series, look no further than Philip Pullman or Tamora Pierce, I’m just saying.
But enough of that. The book I’m talking about here is Catherine Doyle’s ‘The Lost Tide Warriors’, the second book in her ‘Storm Keeper’ series. I read the first book, ‘The Storm Keeper’s Island’ a fair few months ago now, and finally picked up the second book.
So, let’s get onto the review, shall we?
Fionn Boyle has been Storm Keeper of Arranmore for less than six months when thousands of terrifying Soulstalkers arrive on the island. The empty-eyed followers of the dreaded sorceress Morrigan have come to raise their leader and Fionn is powerless to stop them. The Storm Keeper’s magic has deserted him and with his grandfather’s memory waning, Fionn must rely on his friends Shelby and Sam to help him summon Dagda’s army of merrows.
But nobody else believes the ferocious sea creatures even exist. And how can he prove he’s right without any magic? As Fionn begins his search for the lost army, the other islanders prepare for invasion. The battle to save Arranmore has begun.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was holding out hope that the second book would be just as good, if not better. For here, Fionn is rising to the occasion and fighting back rather than just running along with the magic going on around him, wondering about his place in all of it
Now, Fionn is a Storm Keeper, but while that should give him all sorts of power, for some reason his magic is strangely absent. With Morrigan delving into his dreams, and Soulstalkers arriving on the island intent on resurrecting The Raven Queen, Fionn is at a loss of what to do.
I’ll be honest, it took about 6 or 7 chapters before I really got into it. I missed Shelby, Fionn’s Beasley friend who was so bright and shining in the first book, and instead we got Sam, who felt a bit bland as a best friend in comparison to Shelby. The redeeming feature of him, was the fact he kept bringing food – because every adventure needs snacks, right?
But that shouldn’t dissuade you from reading this book. Shelby, after all, turns up and is vital to the plot going forward. I thought Fionn was a bit of a grumpy teenager at times, but he’s growing up after all. Not to mention, he contends with a sleep thick with nightmares, so that’s going to make anyone grumpy.
I really loved all the characters in the book though. Fionn’s grandfather, Malachy, has to be one of my favourite characters, and the ending was heartwrenching because of that. I don’t often cry while reading a book, but I definitely had something in my eye whilst attempting to get through the chapters.
There was plenty of action after I got to about chapter 6 or 7, with plans being made both by Fionn and the Islanders. You got a great glimpse of Fionn’s feelings about the Islanders getting involved, especially some of them (who are not nice in the least). I quite liked the aspect of them all gathering to discuss their options surrounding the events of the book. It felt realistic, even if the book is fantasy.
There were some intense moments throughout the book. From pirate ships to candle magic, invasion by the terrifying Ivan and his army of Soulstalkers, and at the end when Fionn was captured. I won’t spoil the ending, but I was definitely on tender hooks for a while there!
Overall, I really enjoyed it. The magic, the adventure, it’s a really great series. Now, I’m eager to read the third and final book in the series. Will Fionn win the battle that is to come? I think it’s time to read and see.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x