Feisty young Skylark O'Shea is on holiday with her mother at a town on the coast. Soon it becomes clear that in Tuapa all is not as it seems. Strange things begin to happen.
What is the threat facing the town and the birds of the forest? Where do the charismatic old Maori women Hoki and Bella fit in?
Skylark becomes embroiled in an extraordinary journey. Soon she is testing her wits, her life and the fate of all she loves in a race of breathtaking dimension...
Witi Ihimaera's Sky Dancer cleverly combines a roller-coaster adventure ride with new ways of exploring Maori myth. The result is a storytelling triumph.
The Whale Rider is one of my favourite novels, so I was very interested in reading this latest story by Witi Ihimaera. It even has quite a few general similarities: young girl as 'chosen' main character, Maori mythology, small town tale of an ancient prophecy involving animals. I loved the details about forest mythology, and the scenario of a history and battle between the land birds and sea birds, manu whenua and manu moana.
The characters in the book are interesting though perhaps not always captivating, and this may be why I found the book hard to get involved in at times. It was quite a long story, though still enjoyable. I did sometimes find myself losing interest in the dialogue, but it was well worth continuing for the imagery of the epic and thrilling final sky battle.
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