Amy and Liam Bell have been packed off to stay at Gran's house in the wilds of Connemara for the summer. Out for a walk on the first morning of their holiday, they trace the flight of a hawk to a nearby waterfall - only to watch the bird disappear through it. Intrigued, the children follow and soon realise they've discovered the entrance to Tir na nOg, the legendary land of eternal youth.
But they've been tricked. Almost immediately Liam is captured by a troop of headless horsemen who take him to Tarlock, the ruling sorcerer of Tir na nOg, who is seeking the bones of a human child for a sinister new spell.
Packed with edge-of-your seat adventure, incredible imagination, humour and warmth, The Lost Girl King is the rare kind of story that has you reading long past lights out.
I wasn't looking for a book to read, I have one languishing in my bag waiting for me to hurry up and start reading it, but I saw this, read the blurb and thought I would give it a go. It's a tale as old as time, kids don't listen to warnings, stray off the path and end up getting tangled up in magic and danger. Amy quickly finds herself having the adventure she wanted but probably with far more danger than she'd hoped for, when upon arriving in the mystical land, her brother is taken prisoner by a sorcerer who wishes to use him to bind the sun forever, so he can keep his power. Amy, of course, sets off to rescue him and refuses to take no for an answer (much to the annoyance of those she teams up with).
The book keeps you moving at a solid pace, there's no real quiet moment once Liam as has been taken. Amy has to prove herself to those she must travel with, not only because she is a child but also because she is a girl (the usual men are fighters guff). Between sneaking around, arguing to gain more supporters and the many battle moments, there is plenty to enjoy in this book. The big reveal about one of the characters wasn't a surprise by the time we got to it, but that didn't detract from the story and I felt it was all well integrated. Due to a slow day, I was able to finish the book in just a couple of hours, which is quite good as it meant that I wanted to see where the story was going to take me and there is enough originality in it that I will be taking it home for others to read.
I really enjoyed this book, well written and well paced, if you enjoy your fantasy with a side of girl-kicks-butt, then this is a read for you.
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"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)