One of the books we've very much loved reading this summer is Nicholas Bowling's third middle-grade children's book published in July 2021 by Chicken House. It's a story inspired by the author's time in the Hebrides of Scotland and New Zealand. The book has a great outdoors feeling as it is set on the fictional island of Little Drum. The landscape and the characters come crashing down on you in a sweeping melody. Music is everything to the islanders. In fact, it's so important that everybody has a birth instrument and a really close bond to it which results in a very special and unique life song. This for me created a very interesting idea that pulled the story threads together into a very intriguing and beguiling read.
The book has a very appealing feel to it through a fantastic blend of both music and mother nature which results in a wonderful heartfelt adventure. The story is infused with myths and folklore and has an excellent plot that will make you tap your feet to the story's unique rhythm. Oran is the main character who will have you enraptured as you plummet into an action-adventure on sea and land. However, we are soon lead into a merry dance when the Duchess arrives from the mainland bringing orders that will silence the islanders forever. No more MUSIC. Oran must set out on a high-stakes adventure to change the Duchess's mind. Whatever will happen?
Oran, with a little help from her best friend ghast called Alick, plus a group of musical pirates makes this story a brilliantly gripping and entertaining read. There are rumours of a mythical instrument that might be able to change everything. It might just save the islander's way of life and restore the balance to the island and their families.
The book has everything that I love to find in a great read - quirkiness and a great setting. It's a rapid page-turner that is full of passion and detailed accuracy. The book flows with fantasy adventure and an air of mystery. It is also full of great characters depicted within a family life setting. This for me was a fantastic book with a difference to escape into. Its soul will last with you for some time. Grab a copy to read now as it will inspire you to explore your inner self and the great outdoors whilst playing the cithara. What more could you ask for?