Children all over the country have been off school since late March because of the worldwide pandemic. They are all bored, bored, bored with nothing to do (apparently) and wanting to go back to school (who’d have thought it). With lots of parks and play centres closed there is another place children can find adventure – losing themselves in a good book. We recently finished reading The Stolen Spear by Saviour Pirotta, from Maverick Books and enjoyed the story. So we were delighted when the second instalment in The Wolfsong Series (a four book series) arrived for our pleasure of reading – The Whispering Stones.
In The Stolen Spear we were introduced to Wolf, a boy living in the Neolithic era (2500BC) who had to go off to a far away land to retrieve a stolen spear. Not only did he complete his mission, but he also found himself and changed his life.
In The Whispering Stones Wolf is back, with the book continuing from where the first book finished. And he is back for another adventure across the lands.
Wolf has successfully returned the spear that was stolen from the burial mound in his village, but his life still isn’t perfect with the villagers. Whilst away he discovered that he was able to see visions and now wants to be a shaman (healer) and is determined to do so. He is gifted a very special amulet that gives him seeing dreams, which enable him to see the future.
When the shaman (Moon) is poisoned at a secret ritual, Wolf is blamed and things take a very nasty turn with Moon’s son, Rain. This leads to the villagers rejecting Wolf yet again, seeing him go into hiding until he can clear his name. As Moon still very ill, with the aid of a seeing dream and his loyal dog Shadow, all three set off together to find a cure at The Whispering Stones, but trouble is not far behind. Along the way they pick up Wolf’s friend Crow (we were introduced to her in The Stolen Spear), who is a hunter and warrior.
Overall, this was a much more enjoyable story than The Stolen Spear, as we had already got to know and like the main characters a little bit. There is a bit more action and tension, it also touches on issues surrounding the hardships of growing up, learning from your mistakes, and persistence in the face of challenges.
The characters are excellent and will be loved by boys and girls aged 8 plus. Crow is a very strong female role model, whilst Wolf is still growing up and his character emerging but is kind and caring, hardworking and thinks about others – something all children should aspire to be.
And for parents and teachers that want to get involved with their children’s reading, there are some great discussion questions at the back of the book to help test comprehension of the story and the issues that arise within the story.
The Whispering Stones, and The Wolfsong Series, is an excellent adventure story that will easily relieve the boredom of lockdown. It will take the kids off to a faraway land and time where they can be immersed in another culture whilst relating to some of the issues that Wolf faces along the way.
It has been written very well, and like the first book told in an easy to read way mixing some fact with fiction.
An adventurous coming of age story.
RRP: £6.99 (Paperback)