Review Blog

Dec 05 2011

The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan

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Ship Kings: Book One. Allen and Unwin, 2011. ISBN 9781742376479.
(Ages 14+) Highly recommended. In the first few pages of this young adult novel we discover there will be four books featuring Dow Amber, who will become a famous and courageous mariner. When we encounter Dow for the first time he is living in a poor village and reluctantly following his father into a career as a woodchopper. However Dow has a intense longing for the sea and through the actions of his village elders  is apprenticed to a bitter and angry fisherman in a village hundreds of miles away. The people who live around the bay known as The Claw have a bleak life, gathering fish and other goods to be given in homage each year to the powerful and ruthless Ship Kings. When town along the the bay and the visiting Ship King fleet are attacked by unknown ships Dow finds himself sailing away from his homeland on a quest for answers.
Australian author Andrew McGahan has written award winning books for adults and this book highlights his writing talent.. The vivid creation of another world was reminiscent of the islands featured in the Earthsea trilogy by Ursula Le Guin. The detailed descriptions and the engaging character of Dow make this a compelling new series for teenagers
Highly recommended for fantasy lovers.
Chris Lloyd

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