Thursday, 6 February 2020

Struan Murray (Author), Manuel Šumberac (Illustrator) - Orphans of the Tide - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books (#OrphansoftheTide)

Walking into a book shop this February, you'll find yourself both delighted and entertained by some of the best children's books that have been published this month. One of my personal favourite reads is this debut book by Struan Murray. Published by Puffin Books on the 20th February, it has a fantastic cover and brilliant illustrations that have been produced by Manuel Šumberac. You only need to look at the brilliant front cover to know that you are in for a real treat. And believe you me, you really are! 

This book is a fantastic slice of dark, magical fiction. You'll find the pages turning by themselves whilst your head spins into a wondrous world. The destination is The City which has been built precariously on a mountain, in fact, it's half-submerged into the sea. This is a brilliant place for the imagination to thrive on. It's a great rooftop escape full of drama, fireworks and some rather bizarrely odd moments. 

This great fantasy is gripped with fear. A malevolent enemy takes over the human mind, hoping to cause mischief and total destruction. The Enemy can take possession of any human body, however, the ruthless Inquisition are determined to destroy it forever. All except for one character, Ellie Lancaster, has another idea. She is a fantastic well-rounded and loveable character who is both heroically courageous and strong-minded. As a tinker and inventor, she lives in a workshop crammed with curiosities. 

This brilliant story is packed full of emotion and friendship. All the characters suffer from some kind of personal grief that most of us can relate to. A mysterious boy washes in with the tide, the citizens believe he's the Enemy that has come to cause untold chaos. This dark side of the story introduces some scary moments which dispense a little chill in the air and tug on the heartstrings. 

I loved the split narrative. As you read the layered diary entries from Claude Hestermeyer, the story connects together brilliantly and makes the reader stick (with fantasy superglue) to the ongoing events. This book is a creative and brilliantly imaginative story. 

This story is thoroughly enjoyable as there is so much in the plot to keep all readers entertained. The cauldron has been mixed with myths, chaos, and secrets that are all bubbling with intrigue, mystery and magic cinematic moments. This is a truly great book to escape into. You'll soon have the power to see and believe in the magic of reading when the story is this good - try it for yourself. 

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