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The Storm Keeper's Island

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'Magical in every way' EOIN COLFER 'Funny, dark and blazingly beautiful' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'So magical and wild that it's like being swept away by the sea' KATHERINE RUNDELL When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet ... Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe fro 'Magical in every way' EOIN COLFER 'Funny, dark and blazingly beautiful' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'So magical and wild that it's like being swept away by the sea' KATHERINE RUNDELL When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet ... Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn's grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.


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'Magical in every way' EOIN COLFER 'Funny, dark and blazingly beautiful' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'So magical and wild that it's like being swept away by the sea' KATHERINE RUNDELL When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet ... Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe fro 'Magical in every way' EOIN COLFER 'Funny, dark and blazingly beautiful' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'So magical and wild that it's like being swept away by the sea' KATHERINE RUNDELL When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet ... Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn's grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.

30 review for The Storm Keeper's Island

  1. 5 out of 5

    Scott Evans (MrEPrimary)

    ‘Magic and myth combine to make The Storm Keeper’s Island a novel like no other. With a different kind of magic, this is a contemporary classic that will move its readers to feel like they’ve discovered and rediscovered their love for reading all over again.’ Inspired by Cat’s very own childhood connections to the island of Arranmore – off the west coast of Ireland – and intertwined with the ripe richness and rurality of Irish mythology, The Storm Keeper’s Island is a novel like no other. Origin ‘Magic and myth combine to make The Storm Keeper’s Island a novel like no other. With a different kind of magic, this is a contemporary classic that will move its readers to feel like they’ve discovered and rediscovered their love for reading all over again.’ Inspired by Cat’s very own childhood connections to the island of Arranmore – off the west coast of Ireland – and intertwined with the ripe richness and rurality of Irish mythology, The Storm Keeper’s Island is a novel like no other. Originally, I had started to write this review after receiving an advance proof copy of this story back in May, before it had been chosen as Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month for July. It is safe to say that it is no surprise to me that it has proudly earned this accolade because it blows everything out of the water and far away across the sea. Starting off in the school holidays, Ffion and his sister Tara are sent away across the sea, by their mother (who later on we find is still riddled with shock after the death of their father), to a lonely island to stay with their grandfather. From the very first page, Fionn becomes the kind of almost hidden hero you can really start to root for, as the angsty brotherly-sisterly dynamic between him and his sibling starts to seep through. But the island and his grandfather are not quite what Ffion first expected, in fact they too are like no other. The island of Arranmore is a larger-than-life land surrounded from within by magic, ancient folklore and legend. An island steeped in a strong sense of history and with a beating heart all of its own. Inhaling, gasping, waking up and with a voice that seemingly speaks to Ffion in his deepest dreams, this is an island that breathes and begins to come to life before your very own eyes through Cat’s choice of beautiful and almost lyrical language that lilts and sings itself off the page. As candles, memories (including a grandfather living with Alzheimer’s) and ancient wars meander and merge, Ffion finds himself in the middle of a changing of the guard as the island seeks out to select its next Storm Keeper but more than magic, mystery and myth stand before him. With a feel of a contemporary classic, like a blend of Funke with Millwood Hargrave and Rundell, this is an all together different kind of magic and fantasy that’s on offer. One that’s very much multi-layered; it felt like there were so many stories within stories just waiting to be awoken to be told. And it is this that I cannot wait to see progress in Catherine’s future stories. This is a stunning, secretly-enchanting story imbued with a strong, original and inherent sense of ancestral self from Catherine that makes it shine so brightly, and will embrace its readers and move them to feel like they’ve rediscovered their love for reading all over again. Just as once in a generation, the island of Arranmore chooses a new Storm Keeper; once in a while, a book as special as this comes around. If I could mould this book in to its very own candle, calling it The Storm Keeper – 1st July 2018, it would continue to burn to be relived and reread. For this is a book that I hope never goes out and one that I will be waxing lyrical about for years to come.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren James

    I read this in one sitting. Magical, funny, heart-rending, terrifying - and with plenty more adventures still to come, I’m on tenterhooks for the next book. Fionn, his grandfather and father broke my heart and put it back together again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Moody Corner

    The Stormkeeper's Island follows young Fionn as he travels to the island of Arranmore with his sister Tara to stay with their grandfather. Little does Fionn know just how magical and full of secrets the island of Arranmore is and most of all the dangers stirring within it... This is a stunning, beautiful book and a great addition to the many MG titles already out there. Catherine's writing really draws you in and transports you to the island of Arranmore. I felt as if I were truly there, smellin The Stormkeeper's Island follows young Fionn as he travels to the island of Arranmore with his sister Tara to stay with their grandfather. Little does Fionn know just how magical and full of secrets the island of Arranmore is and most of all the dangers stirring within it... This is a stunning, beautiful book and a great addition to the many MG titles already out there. Catherine's writing really draws you in and transports you to the island of Arranmore. I felt as if I were truly there, smelling the salt on the sea, feeling the spray thanks to the amazing craft and worldbuilding, its so vivid, and I'm sure this will be a hit with many readers young and old. I loved Fionn and his grandfather, the dynamic between himself and Tara, the significance of the candles, how beautifully each one was described. The Stormkeeper's Island oozes magic and mystery and this breathtaking portrayal of Ireland is full of both courage and heart.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    I knew immediately that I'd love this book, but Doyle's writing enchanted me and pulled me right into the story and Fionn's mind in a way I didn't expect. It's beautifully written and engaging, in a voice that feels confident and fresh, weaving humour with whimsical magic and the enchanting exploration of a family's emotional past. Fionn and his annoying older sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on Arranmore Island by their mother in the city. It doesn't take Fionn long to r I knew immediately that I'd love this book, but Doyle's writing enchanted me and pulled me right into the story and Fionn's mind in a way I didn't expect. It's beautifully written and engaging, in a voice that feels confident and fresh, weaving humour with whimsical magic and the enchanting exploration of a family's emotional past. Fionn and his annoying older sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on Arranmore Island by their mother in the city. It doesn't take Fionn long to realise this place is magical, with the plants and tides behaving strangely, the island shifting below his feet, and that Tara has been hiding things from him about this place. Not to mention the hundreds of candles filling his grandfather's house, dreams of ravens, a hunt for a sea cave and a magical wish, and talk of the Storm Keeper. As Fionn battles his fear of the sea and learns about the island's mythical history and his grandfather's role in keeping it safe, he's pulled into an adventure of his own, and the question of which of the island children will be the next Storm Keeper? Rich storytelling seeps into all the corners of this story. The setting is vividly described, evoking a strong sense of the wild natural beauty of the island, as well as its temperament and penchant for magic. The writing transports the reader there easily. I could feel the wind and the chill of sea-spray, the thrum of old magic under the ground. The plot has good pacing and I loved how Doyle subverts the expectations of traditional adventure stories. Instead of joining the other children in exploring the island, Fionn's journey is grounded at home, in his dynamic relationship with his grandfather and his growing understanding of the island between the layers of its past, present, and future. It's a story about the deep bonds of family and grief, and there were moments in this book I had to pause and collect myself. Fionn is a wonderful protagonist. The story delves effortlessly into his emotions and world-view: his nervousness of being away from home and meeting his grandfather for the first time, his loneliness after being rejected from the other children who go off exploring without him, the mixed emotions he has about being in the dark about secrets, his grief and guilt about his parents. I felt his frustration at Tara like a tangible thing, so easy to relate to in such a real way. I've read a lot of books that deal with sibling rivalry and strained sibling relationships, but the relationship between Tara and Fionn felt so much like the relationship I had with my brother as a child it was astonishing to read. Her effortlessly sharp and funny banter between the children and Fionn's grandfather was brilliant. I've not read such on-pointe sniping in a middle grade book in a long time. Doyle writes fantastically fun dialogue! There's no caricatures here. Doyle can write really complex relationship arcs and emotions with great depth and realism. She shows us a family who have suffered, and uses magic in a way that allows the characters to interact with the past, layering it over the present. It's full of rich and vibrant relationships that I'm excited to see continue developing in the next installment/s. I'm curious to find out more about Fionn's grandfather and parents in the next books, especially his mother who was largely absent in this one. The magic is beautifully thought-through and multi-layered, with captivating originality in its concept. I loved imagining the candles. I don't think I've read a book that uses memory magic in quite this way before, and it'll be exciting to see what else it can do. But the strength of the magic for me was in the consequences on the plot and characters, how there's an element of risk and loss as well as wonder with every use. I loved how storms and memories blend, and secrets can be hidden within them. Overall, it's hard to say what I loved most about this book. It's a short novel, but I was so in love with it, I didn't want it to end and savoured every page. It's a beautifully written story, and I'm dying to see where it goes next and follow Fionn on his next adventure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Catherine Doyle weaves a touching, heart-warmingly magical adventure story from the myths and legends surrounding Arranmore Island, her childhood home. Fionn and his sister are sent to Arranmore for the first time to stay with their elderly Grandfather, unaware that they are already bound by fate to the secrets and inherent magic the island hides. It has a lot to say about the everyday magic of self-belief, courage and the abundant gifts of the natural world. It also sensitively handles family Catherine Doyle weaves a touching, heart-warmingly magical adventure story from the myths and legends surrounding Arranmore Island, her childhood home. Fionn and his sister are sent to Arranmore for the first time to stay with their elderly Grandfather, unaware that they are already bound by fate to the secrets and inherent magic the island hides. It has a lot to say about the everyday magic of self-belief, courage and the abundant gifts of the natural world. It also sensitively handles family tragedy, grief, loss, and the anxieties surrounding advancing years in a loved one. The narrative voice of eleven year old Fionn beautifully captures the often underestimated perceptiveness and emotional intelligence of childhood. A wonderfully enchanting story- poignant, wise and beautifully written. "All Fionn ever knew for sure was that Arranmore haunted her, and he could never figure out whether that was mostly a good thing or mostly a bad thing. Only that places can be just as important as people. They can have the same power over you if you let them." "He wanted it so badly it rocked him to sleep most nights and woke him up most mornings. All his life, it had dwelled in the sliver between his soul and his heart- where desire dissolved inti impossibility...The words swam off the page as his eyes glazed over, thoughts of the wish he'd make crawling out of his head and sitting on his chest" "'Nothing on Arranmore is inconsequential. No blade of grass, no drop of rain, no wisp of cloud. There is magic in everything'. He pressed his lips together, like there was a secret underneath his tongue, swelling and swelling, until he chewed it up, and then simply said, 'There is magic in memory'." "...we gave up and got sweets from the shop so we could eat our feelings instead." "Bravery is just a matter of forgetting to be afraid, Fionn. Nothing more. Nothing less." "There are many different kinds of bravery, Fionn. Often the journeys we take inside ourselves are more difficult than the stormiest seas." "His Grandfather turned his face to the sun. It sprinkled its rays along the crevices of his face until he seemed not quite as old as before. 'Ah, a gift'. The seagulls circled them in muted silence, the rainbow glinting off their wings and painting colour wheels along the ground." "Fionn wanted to say something more; he wanted to say that he loved his Grandfather fiercely, that he was the only person in the world who made him feel better about living in his own skin, that he was the brightest star in Fionn's sky, that he couldn't bear to see him forget a single thing or to find that in all of the forgetting, he would come to forget him too. The words crowded together on his tongue until he felt too full to speak at all."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Connor

    I really enjoyed this, much more than I thought I would. A fast-paced, full on adventure that combines magic, modern life and the importance of family. Fionn and Tara are two squabbling siblings - and what brilliant squabbling it is - who are spending their summer with their grandad on the island of Arranmore. Grandad is a fantastic character, full of wit and love and humility, and the magic of his candles help to teach Fionn about the island’s past. The island holds a secret, and Fionn’s arch-n I really enjoyed this, much more than I thought I would. A fast-paced, full on adventure that combines magic, modern life and the importance of family. Fionn and Tara are two squabbling siblings - and what brilliant squabbling it is - who are spending their summer with their grandad on the island of Arranmore. Grandad is a fantastic character, full of wit and love and humility, and the magic of his candles help to teach Fionn about the island’s past. The island holds a secret, and Fionn’s arch-nemesis Bartley is keen to find out what it is in order to become the Stormkeeper himself. Fionn must face his demons in order to stop Bartley, all of which conspires to a brilliant ending. As someone who doesn’t always find stories about magic the most inspiring, this had me hooked from the get-go, whether it be the Irish-isms, the strong sense of family or just the fact that it is a real page-turner.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I was so moved with the wonder and magic of the relationship that 11 yr old Fionn has with the Grandfather he has never met. Having been sent to live on Arranmore, with his older teenage sister, Fionn misses his mother back in Dublin, even though she isn't always really there. Nearing the anniversary of the death of his father, his mother has had to go away to be made better. The Island seems to speak to Fionn and what follows is a lot of information he thinks his sister surely should have told I was so moved with the wonder and magic of the relationship that 11 yr old Fionn has with the Grandfather he has never met. Having been sent to live on Arranmore, with his older teenage sister, Fionn misses his mother back in Dublin, even though she isn't always really there. Nearing the anniversary of the death of his father, his mother has had to go away to be made better. The Island seems to speak to Fionn and what follows is a lot of information he thinks his sister surely should have told him. Like the flowers and birds being there, then not there oh and the island is magic. His grandfather, on his father's side, seems to have a grand sense of humour but behind his eyes the sea seems to dance. How does he make the candles that seem to swirl containing the memory of storms themselves? There is a wonderful nod to an actual lifeboat incident that happened near the Arran Isles that comes alive and obviously had a strong impact on the author. The whole book melts into you with magic and love. This is a wonderful story of family, friendship and what Fionn will do to be true to himself. Also about family members losing themselves, to grief and to memory loss, how to help them find their way back. It was a such a magical story of the relationship we have with our grandparents, the twinkle of mischief and adventure they get in their eyes when we visit and the memories we make with them are forever, they will always be with us in our hearts. Malachie Boyle will go down as one of the best grandfather characters I have ever read and I'm sure there is more to find out about this family and their past.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Our July Kids book of the month... Fionn and his sister Tara are sent to the island of Arranmore to stay with their grandad - the current Storm Keeper - but it's nearly time for the old man to step down and soon a new Keeper will arise. The island is full of magic, and tales of a flying horse and an old cave that will grant you one wish - if you can find it - but as the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up. A great adventure story full of Irish myth Our July Kids book of the month... Fionn and his sister Tara are sent to the island of Arranmore to stay with their grandad - the current Storm Keeper - but it's nearly time for the old man to step down and soon a new Keeper will arise. The island is full of magic, and tales of a flying horse and an old cave that will grant you one wish - if you can find it - but as the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up. A great adventure story full of Irish myth and magic that both kids and adults will enjoy. I loved it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sinéad

    This was a very special read that I got completely lost in. It is a timeless story of adventure, magic, and wonder. It brought to my mind some of Enid Blyton’s rollicking adventures from my childhood. It perfectly balances the humour of two siblings bickering, with the sadness of a child missing an absent mother, a lost father, and a deteriorating grandfather. It captures beautifully the relationship between Fionn and his grandfather as it blossoms and grows, and Fionn’s sense of being adrift an This was a very special read that I got completely lost in. It is a timeless story of adventure, magic, and wonder. It brought to my mind some of Enid Blyton’s rollicking adventures from my childhood. It perfectly balances the humour of two siblings bickering, with the sadness of a child missing an absent mother, a lost father, and a deteriorating grandfather. It captures beautifully the relationship between Fionn and his grandfather as it blossoms and grows, and Fionn’s sense of being adrift and abandoned when he arrives at Arranmore. I look forward to seeing where the story goes next…

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angel McGregor

    This is exactly what a children's book should look like!! An absolutely beautiful read, a good old-fashioned adventure story with a strand of magic threading between the pages! Fionn is a hearty character that pulls you in from the beginning and Arranmore Island is that place where we all wish we could visit this summer - this is a must read children, but it's more than just a kids' book! There were parts of Fionn's story that stirred emotions that I'm not sure 9-12 year old's would feel, making This is exactly what a children's book should look like!! An absolutely beautiful read, a good old-fashioned adventure story with a strand of magic threading between the pages! Fionn is a hearty character that pulls you in from the beginning and Arranmore Island is that place where we all wish we could visit this summer - this is a must read children, but it's more than just a kids' book! There were parts of Fionn's story that stirred emotions that I'm not sure 9-12 year old's would feel, making this a perfect summer read for adults too! A definite addition to my own bookshelf and one I will be putting in my kids' hands!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    A massive dollop of magic, mixed with a charming and quick witted main character. Throw in an incredible grandfather, an island that has its own history and power and a struggle with grief. You get this. A book with clout. There better be a second one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    WaterstonesBirmingham

    A magical adventure that had everything a great children's book should have; characters to root for, mystery, mythology, humour and did I mention adventure? This book kept me utterly enchanted throughout and in the end not only did I feel like I had been magically transported to the island of Arranmore but also back to my childhood and the kind of books that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. It's absolutely made my Top 5 Kids books of all time! Cannot recommend it highly enou A magical adventure that had everything a great children's book should have; characters to root for, mystery, mythology, humour and did I mention adventure? This book kept me utterly enchanted throughout and in the end not only did I feel like I had been magically transported to the island of Arranmore but also back to my childhood and the kind of books that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. It's absolutely made my Top 5 Kids books of all time! Cannot recommend it highly enough. Becca

  13. 5 out of 5

    AleJandra

    La Sinopsis no me dice claramente, de que tratara este libro, pero es Catherine Doyle, así que le daré el beneficio de la duda. Obviamente hubiera preferido saber más de su trilogía Vendetta, pero ok, leeré cualquier cosa que ella publique.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Esther

    Every so often a book comes along that wraps itself around you and uncovers your dreams. The Storm Keepers Island is that book. Fionn travels to Arranmore with his sister Tara; his ancestral home that awakens the moment he sets foot on its’ shores. It breathes and sighs, enveloping him with its’ winds; recognising him, though Fionn has never been there. But the island knows. The island remembers. Every generation, the island chooses a Storm Keeper, guardian of secrets and memories; protector from Every so often a book comes along that wraps itself around you and uncovers your dreams. The Storm Keepers Island is that book. Fionn travels to Arranmore with his sister Tara; his ancestral home that awakens the moment he sets foot on its’ shores. It breathes and sighs, enveloping him with its’ winds; recognising him, though Fionn has never been there. But the island knows. The island remembers. Every generation, the island chooses a Storm Keeper, guardian of secrets and memories; protector from the ancient evil slumbering deep in a secret cave. The time has come for Fionns’ grandfather to step aside as Storm Keeper and Fionn is blissfully unaware of the task and incredible dangers that lie ahead. This book absolutely sings. It is the story of family ties and their history; so poignant and filled with truth that the reader will instantly relate. A tale of an island and its’ past, it is filled with such stunning detail and enthralling adventure that it tangibly brings to life Arranmore and its people, both past and present. The island itself stands out as a character, painted vividly and with great feeling. It is filled with magic; the magic of love, compassion, memories; of candles, storms and sacrifice. With expert language use and sensory detail, Doyle creates a mood that is eerie and curious, while also revealing genuine joy and humour. A rare, beautiful gift; this is a story that will live on in the imagination long after you've put it down.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    Magical mix of myth and adventure. Beautifully written with great characters. There is humour, sad bits and bits to grip you. First in a series so look forward to more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    ↠ Rating: 4/5 stars I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking: a middle-grade novel? Ellie, you don't read middle-grade. WELL, I DO NOW. But fine yes, I don’t often read middle-grade. So when I do, it is often something really great. And The Storm Keeper’s Island is very, very good. It was a nice break from the heavy-hitting ‘adult’ books I’ve been reading recently. Now, that isn’t to say The Storm Keeper's Island isn’t heavy-hitting, b ↠ Rating: 4/5 stars I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking: a middle-grade novel? Ellie, you don't read middle-grade. WELL, I DO NOW. But fine yes, I don’t often read middle-grade. So when I do, it is often something really great. And The Storm Keeper’s Island is very, very good. It was a nice break from the heavy-hitting ‘adult’ books I’ve been reading recently. Now, that isn’t to say The Storm Keeper's Island isn’t heavy-hitting, because it touched nicely on some meaningful themes, but it was done in a lighter, softer way, as is usual for the MG genre. The Storm Keeper’s Island reminded me of those books that crossed the lines of defined-age genres. Books like Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. The Storm Keeper’s Island has that same magical, whimsical feel to it that makes it feel timeless. The story itself is set on the island of Arranmore, off the coast of Ireland, and interweaves reality and fantasy brilliantly, which I loved. And though the setting was lush and evocative, what I really really loved were the characters. They were so warm and thoughtfully created, and they all had some really great dialogue that made me laugh. Fionn was a great hero and narrator, I loved Fionn’s grandfather, and Shelby was actually adorable/witty (my favourite combo) and I really hope more is seen of her! Additionally, Tara’s character arc and development I also really enjoyed because she reminds me a lot of my own younger sister sister. Fionn’s grandfather also suffers from Alzheimer’s, and I’m really glad this was represented in the book as mental health rep is really important to normalise the social stigma associated with such mental illnesses. Additionally, the villain Morrigan sounds like she’ll be the ‘female villain with dark powers’ trope that I actually love soooooo I’ll probably be trash for her soon. I do wish we got to see a little more of her, but I assume that'll be saved for following books. The entire series looks like it'll go places, and it has buckets of potential, so I'm really looking forward to following Fionn's journey. TL;DR: This book is so incredibly precious. IT IS SO SO CUTE AND MAGICAL AND WONDERFUL. Recommend it to your kids, your cousins, your friends - anyone, really.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Milly Potter

    I really enjoyed this story- a great adventure& an original idea 😊 I liked the main character, Fionn & how his relationship with his Grandfather and the island grew as the book went on. Look forward to the next one! Read in Italy!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christina Reid

    Absolute perfection, loved every minute! Magic, mythology and family. Full review to come.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Russell

    Adventure themed books for children jave come along way since Enid Blyton. This book has strong powerful themes of family, grief and magic as well as beautifully and poetically written. Not since Harry Potter have I been so excited about what happens next

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    The Storm Keeper's Island is just a phenomenally wonderful children's book. Although it is shelved in 9 to 12 years, this book will appeal to all ages as it has (like the island of Arranmore) so many layers to it, from magic to family relationships to old rivalries with adventure running through it all. Beautifully descriptive writing brings the island to life and you really feel you are right in the thick of it with Fionn as he discovers just how incredibly brave and strong he is. I genuinely l The Storm Keeper's Island is just a phenomenally wonderful children's book. Although it is shelved in 9 to 12 years, this book will appeal to all ages as it has (like the island of Arranmore) so many layers to it, from magic to family relationships to old rivalries with adventure running through it all. Beautifully descriptive writing brings the island to life and you really feel you are right in the thick of it with Fionn as he discovers just how incredibly brave and strong he is. I genuinely loved this book and look forward to sharing it with everyone I can.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christina Worrall

    This is an excellent read. It’s gripping, compelling and wonderfully written - I couldn’t put it down!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cairns-Hardy

    I absolutely loved this book. It's full of adventure, mystery and magic. A true battle of good and evil. A great start to a new series. I can't wait for the next one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Definitely of the best middle grade/9-12 books I’ve read in a long time - I urge anyone who enjoys a magical adventure to pick this up! I don’t like to compare things to Harry Potter, especially as the comparisons are usually made so quickly with any book about a young protagonist discovering they are magical, but something about this reminded me of the good old HP. The Storm Keeper’s Island will suck you in, and leave you yearning for the sequel (in a year’s time!). Original, exciting, with dar Definitely of the best middle grade/9-12 books I’ve read in a long time - I urge anyone who enjoys a magical adventure to pick this up! I don’t like to compare things to Harry Potter, especially as the comparisons are usually made so quickly with any book about a young protagonist discovering they are magical, but something about this reminded me of the good old HP. The Storm Keeper’s Island will suck you in, and leave you yearning for the sequel (in a year’s time!). Original, exciting, with darkness threaded throughout. Can’t wait for what comes next!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Shelley

    ‘In a field full of wildflowers, a boy and a girl stood side by side beneath an ancient oak tree. The sky was angry, the thunder growling like an angry beast.’ I knew from the first line of The Storm Keeper’s Island, that I would fall under the tide of its tale. Doyle crafts a magical, whimsical, beautiful story. The cracks between sentences are filled with hope and wishes. The atmosphere is soaked with the sea. There is a beautiful balance between humour and darkness, wisdom and adventure. It ‘In a field full of wildflowers, a boy and a girl stood side by side beneath an ancient oak tree. The sky was angry, the thunder growling like an angry beast.’ I knew from the first line of The Storm Keeper’s Island, that I would fall under the tide of its tale. Doyle crafts a magical, whimsical, beautiful story. The cracks between sentences are filled with hope and wishes. The atmosphere is soaked with the sea. There is a beautiful balance between humour and darkness, wisdom and adventure. It reads like an old folkloric tale made new. ‘As long as it happened before on Arranmore Island, it can happen again.’ Fionn and his sister sail across the sea on a ferry to Arranmore Island. They are swept away from their comfortable city streets and thrust into the care of their grandfather. Among a crumbled cottage and a nosy village, he rediscovers his home and heritage whilst taking on an unexpected responsibility to wield magic. But a darkness is brewing - an evil ancient being beneath the ground. More than just the exterior plot, however, it carries an emotional depth throughout. As Fionn not only learns to navigate his new surroundings but also learns how to deal with grief and loss. I loved the way Doyle touched-stoned on this theme. Creating awareness and exploring the multi-facets of depression and grief. ‘Your mother has a warrior’s heart and an islander’s soul. Someday it will lead Evelyn McCauley home. Someday that sky will clear.’ ‘There are many different kinds of bravery, Fionn. Often the journeys we take inside ourselves are more difficult than the stormiest seas.’ Doyle’s writing style was like a warm bath that I felt myself sinking deeper into. It reminded me of the stories I was read to as a child. From marmalade toast and tea to the wickers of candlelight, there is a sense of comfort embedded into the sentences. ‘Fionn couldn’t remember his grandmother but his mother said she smelled like roses and smiled like sunshine, spoke like a poet and laughed like a pirate.’ The weather becomes its own character and identity – shifting in almost parallel with Fionn and his grandfather’s emotions. ‘He was standing on the edge of a headland with the clouds gathering in his outstretched hands and the wind wreathing his body. He felt the sea rushing through his veins, leaving salt crystals in the lining of his heart.’ In the atmosphere and Fionn's character development, there is a sense of abandonment and confusion at the beginning (compared to the sense of feeling found and finding courage at the end.) At the point of climax, this return to the original feeling becomes prominent as Fionn explores the possible loss of two people in his life. One already lost, unsure why. And another soon to be lost, slipping through his fingers. It was this grief and fear of letting go, that I found truly harrowing. My heart strings are pulling just thinking about it. ‘You’ll be brave now, won’t you, Fionn? I need you to be brave for what’s to come.’ But in between these moments of darkness, there is a sense of hope… ‘That is your greatest responsibility. To live a life of breathless wonder, so that when it begins to fade from you, you will feel the shadow of its happiness still inside you and the blissful sense that you laughed the loudest, loved the deepest, and lived fearlessly, even as the specifics of it all meltaway.’ ‘Somewhere in the distance, a lone crow weaved its caw between the sinking clouds. “The sky is falling,” said Fionn. “The sun will break through again,” his grandfather replied, and there was much more in those two sentences than there had been in everything else that came before them.’ And light-hearted humour where I found myself giggling out loud… ‘A flock of seagulls swooped over their heads and flew out to sea. They circled the ferry as it trundled its way into port. The horn sounded. Fionn winced. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that sound.” “It sounds a bit like a dying cow, doesn’t it?” said Tara. The world of Arranmore sounds like a dream; a coastal island, wildflowers among the hills, secret caves, whispering trees that grant wishes and stormy weather. I adored the idea of travelling by candlelight. And I loved learning about the history of Storm Keepers - the generations that had come beforehand and the rivalry and challenges that tie into the present moment of the book. Which becomes evident within the characters of those who live in the village – a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other. (Doyle makes similarities to her own experiences growing up in Arranmore Island – where ‘everybody is your cousin and seems to invite you round for dinner.’) Doyle also ties in folkloric myth – Morgana and Dagda – the battle on the sea. A cape of souls and a staff of magic. I loved the way she tied in an old tale but in a completely inventive way. The notion of darkness brewing beneath the ground of the Island, ready to be awakened once more, left me unsettled throughout the book as I was reading. Which added another layer of beauty. A story within a story within a story. My favourite kind of tales – intelligent plotting and weaving. Where even a crumb has a ripple effect – the past, present and future become one. (Quick note; Doyle mentioned how her previous books had been head books and this was her heart book. Gosh I hope she continues to write from her heart!) I think a great book will make you question the very ground you walk on – like a magical wardrobe, a faraway tree, and a letter to a wizarding school. And after reading this story, I am dying to listen to the wind and decode its whispers. The Storm Keeper’s Island has left a soft place within my heart. Its imprint will linger for a long time to come and is certainly one of my new favourite books. I cannot wait to read more from Doyle within this world! ‘For now though, the island let the boy sleep, dulling the wind and silencing the seagulls so that he might find peace in the safety of his dreams. For a little while at least.’

  25. 4 out of 5

    April (Tay Tay)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ben Trevail

    Totally magical - a brilliant read. Hints of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series as Fionn comes to terms with the magic and history of Arranmore island where his grandfather lives. Highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Fionn knows he's not brave. He's a very unusual Boyle, afraid of the sea while his father and other ancestors were lifeboat men and men of the sea. When he and his sister Tara are sent to their grandfather for the summer, Fionn has to confront the sea of the small rugged island on a daily basis. There he finds out about the magic of the island, and that his grandfather is more than just an old candle maker. This was such an original idea, candles that hold memories and a path to the past through Fionn knows he's not brave. He's a very unusual Boyle, afraid of the sea while his father and other ancestors were lifeboat men and men of the sea. When he and his sister Tara are sent to their grandfather for the summer, Fionn has to confront the sea of the small rugged island on a daily basis. There he finds out about the magic of the island, and that his grandfather is more than just an old candle maker. This was such an original idea, candles that hold memories and a path to the past through these memories. Layers of time are all jumbled together on the island, the wind whipping you into the past. Fionn is such a funny character. Despite thinking he isn't brave, he's so quick-witted with his retorts and never backs down. The way the book ended I would expect a sequel though it isn't mentioned.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The Storm Keeper’s Island is one of those books that just enchants you right from the get go. I could feel how alive the island was from those very first few pages and I could feel its magic creeping into me. I adored Fionn and his Grandpa and their relationship warmed my heart at times. Catherine Doyle’s writing is exquisite. I was totally captivated by her descriptions and a real sense of magic emanated from each and every page. This is a true adventure which is steeped in magic and mythology The Storm Keeper’s Island is one of those books that just enchants you right from the get go. I could feel how alive the island was from those very first few pages and I could feel its magic creeping into me. I adored Fionn and his Grandpa and their relationship warmed my heart at times. Catherine Doyle’s writing is exquisite. I was totally captivated by her descriptions and a real sense of magic emanated from each and every page. This is a true adventure which is steeped in magic and mythology whilst also tackling grief and sadness in a way that is wholly relatable and sensitively done. This book will, without a doubt, capture the imaginations of thousands of young people and is definitely one to have on your shelves.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ithil

    I do have to confess that the cover of this book was what drew me towards it. It was sent to us from the publisher, but that is not going to affect my review or opinion. And let me tell you I loved it. The plot is quite simple: two siblings that are going back to the island where theyre from and where their families have lived throughout the years. However, when they arrive and join their grand-father, the younger, Fionn will soon realize that there is magic on the island and it is way too real. I do have to confess that the cover of this book was what drew me towards it. It was sent to us from the publisher, but that is not going to affect my review or opinion. And let me tell you I loved it. The plot is quite simple: two siblings that are going back to the island where they´re from and where their families have lived throughout the years. However, when they arrive and join their grand-father, the younger, Fionn will soon realize that there is magic on the island and it is way too real. And here is when the story trapped me. It is one of those books where reality, farytale, magic and legends are so well entwined, that you are not quite sure where fantasy ends and reality stars. Or the other way round. The writer´s family is from the island, and you can really tell as she transmits with beautiful descriptions the views and the landscape. And the smells, in an absolutely not nasty or weird way: smells and candles are very important in the plot and sometimes I felt like I was really there with Fionn and his grand-father. The book drinks from the never ending battle between good and evil and if this is the beginning of a trilogy or saga I am up for it! I loved the characters; Fionn and his grand-father are the best: I loved their sense of humor and irony. Even the characters you´re not supposed to like are very charismatic. They make the book so easy to read. Also, it´s got short chapters so it may be a good “before going to sleep story”. But be aware of the “one more, and I will stop”, because I had to read the last 150 pages non stop. Yeah, it was that good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Driver

    Soaked in the myths of the author's home, this book was different to anything I've read before. It's full of wild nature and sea saltiness and I could just imagine my hair whipping into my eyes and tasting the salt on my lips. There is the most amazing cottage full of magical candles in this book (oh yes!) but even more than the candle magic I loved the real, complex family relationships at the book's heart. All the heart-breaks we must begin to endure from a young age are woven through the narr Soaked in the myths of the author's home, this book was different to anything I've read before. It's full of wild nature and sea saltiness and I could just imagine my hair whipping into my eyes and tasting the salt on my lips. There is the most amazing cottage full of magical candles in this book (oh yes!) but even more than the candle magic I loved the real, complex family relationships at the book's heart. All the heart-breaks we must begin to endure from a young age are woven through the narrative with humour and grace. The ending suggested more books to follow and I would definitely like to catch up with Fionn again!

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