The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle is a luminous flame of a story! Smouldering in the pages is the wild ancient strength of nature, the rhythm of island folk with the ebbing tides of sea and the old lore conjured into life.
Set on Arranmore Island, which is a real island , Árainn Mhór off the west coast of Ireland, Fionn and his sister Tara have come to the island to stay with their grandfather Malachy. Fionn discovers deep ancient magic on the island connected to his grandfather as the Storm Keeper of Arranmore. A formidable and frightening eons old Irish legend is awoken.
As the wheel of time turns and the weather ever-changes, the island signals that it is time for a new Storm Keeper to take up the mantle as candle maker. Friendships are forged, betrayals uncovered and somehow, a rising ancient evil must be quelled in the wilds of lashing island storms.
This story is a wonderful read for middle-grades to young adult, tackling the complexity and frailty of memory and time, as well as family relationships. A teaching guide is available from Bloomsbury and some schools have been creating memory candle crafting projects to explore the concepts in the story.
Wildy enchanting and with a light burning on the horizon – this isn’t the end of Fionn’s story and we get to find out more in July 2019.