Ruth Eastham’s award winning debut novel, The Memory Cage, was among the first I reviewed when I started my blog in 2011. Of course, when I received a message saying The Warrior in the Mist was available to review, I couldn’t resist saying yes please!
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Shrine Bell; 1st edition, september 2017 edition (24 Aug. 2017)
‘Their bodies flickered strangely transparent, blueish, as if they were made of flames. With a jolt, he realised that they were fading. Time was running out.’
Who are the phantom girls? What do they want with Aidan?
Aidan’s village is under siege. A fracking company has moved on to the land.
Once drilling is complete, the paddocks looked after by Aidan’s family will be gone, along with his home and the horse he loves.
Aidan and his best friends Emmi and Jon have one last hope. Legend has it that the warrior queen Boudicca is buried close by. If only they can find the tomb… prove this is the site of her last great battle against Roman invaders…
As the mists of time separating ancient history from present day swirl and fade, Aidan must face a deadly enemy. He must fight to uncover the truth of the ghostly sisters, before it is too late.
There’s plenty of appeal for all genders right from the beginning of The Warrior in the Mist. Aiden – doing something he shouldn’t be (which all children will relate to!) when he should be elsewhere and the emotional tug about his family and leaving a life that both he and his dad loves. The uncertainty when things are not in your control is something I think we often forget about from a child’s/young person’s perspective. This story will help others going through the same thing to identify and own those feelings (even if they have a very different outcome – it always helps when you find out you’re not alone with how you feel doesn’t it).
Aiden has a strong friendship network in Jon and Emmi and I loved that while Jon has a scientific approach, Emmi is more open to the unexplained 🙂 I was intrigued by Emmi’s cousin Robbie. Even though we don’t see him much in the story he is a key person to the mystery that unfolds. I loved his connection to the earth and nature.
The three children set out on their quest to prove where Boudicca’s tomb is. There’s a race against time to find it before the controlled explosions for the fracking begins and even with the help they receive from paranormal sources I wasn’t sure whether they would make it and survive. Setbacks happen in some thrilling scenes – I could smell the burning in the museum and felt myself tensing underground alongside the characters. Brilliant! I didn’t see the twist coming. I didn’t think it was who we were led to believe it was however I didn’t for one moment even have the other person in mind for the anti-hero. Clever.
I loved the writing (which made this a visual read for me):
The evening shadows clung to the buildings on the outskirts of town … (page 74)
You can just picture the scene!
There was another strong message that readers will take away from The Warriors in the Mist and that is no matter how the odds appear to be stacked against you, don’t give up. Be persistent. Be creative in problem solving and think BIG. I love a story that builds resilience 🙂
Highly recommended … and that’s for adults who enjoy myth and adventure as well as children/young people.
Connect with Ruth Eastham
lots on Ruth Easthams’s website for readers and teachers/school librarians