Alice and Dawn are Whisperers in the world of Meridina. Their charge is to protect the world from the sinister demons the Narlaw. The Narlaw have not been seen in Meridina for so long they have become legend and much of the Whisperer lore has been lost. But now they have returned. Dawn and Alice struggle with fears that they are not experienced enough to fight the demons and protect their country.
This is an evocatively described, fast paced story with well rendered characters. Kris Humphrey contrasts the practical acceptance of the villagers that they are under threat with the complex political issues that Dawn has to deal with in the city. This underlines the focus on nature that the book is grounded in and highlights the importance of the comparison between the city and the countryside that is evident in many high-fantasy narratives.
This is a standard children’s fantasy tale where the young protagonists accept responsibility and adulthood as they step forward to take their rightful place in the fight against evil. The animal companions, Storm and Ebony, are appealing secondary characters, and are almost human in their interactions. The world is original and the novel fast paced with the reader hooked until the end on both storylines and left eager to the next instalment in the four-part series. I recommend this for every child who enjoys an exciting fantasy book with strong female characters.