Children’s books are all time favourite genre for us here at Thikerviews. Writing imaginative stories for young minds that also provide edutainment is a tricky treat to make and we are always exploring for new authors and adventures in this arena.
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Recently, we came across the Brightstorm series by author Vashti Hardy that features young twins who live in a world full of adventures and explorations. We have reviewed the first two books of this series:
And here are our views and reviews on the third book of the series.
Brightstorm - 3
Scholastic ( 5 May 2022)
Norton Young Readers ( August 23 2022)
|# of Pages
|440 (Paperback) 305; 8490 KB (Kindle EBook) 432 (Hardcover) 542 Minutes (Audiobook)
|# of Chapters
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.
The cover page of this book is designed to convey the adventurous spirit of the book. In bright colours that will appeal to young readers, we see a sky-ship – sort of a floating ship that has an enormous baloon at top to help it fly…
In front of the sky-ship is a majestic bear roaring away, while lines and swirls of energy come alive on her body. The red-orange background of a volcanic world of fire and lava is dotted by green forests and moving landscapes.
An attractive cover page that will catch an eye of any browser.
Twins Arthur and Maudie are now enjoying living with their new family of the sky-ship explorator Harriet Culpepper and Felicity. Maudie is also pre-learning for her engineering course at the Universitas. And recently, both twins have been dreaming of a song their father used to sing to them at night.
So when one morning, they receive the information on upcoming auction that features their mother Violetta’s box, the twins and Harriet think of buying it back. However, the auction price is out of their range, and the box is sold to another person. Harriet decides to take the twins on another exploratory mission to cheer them up. And then they find that the box was bought by their aunt Eudora Vane and she gifts it back to the twins, also mildly suggesting that they should go to the Volcanic North.
And so it is that the mission crew prepares for this journey to the land of volcanoes, where their father went in his early years. There are two new members this time though, princess Gan and professor Hugo Waynecroft – a volcanologist.
The mission hits a few bumps, when they get stuck at the bottom of a mine, and have to be rescued by Gan’s uncle King Batzorig. When Arthur suspects Hugo to be a spy and communicating with the sky-ships following them, they discover another secret. Hugo is actually Ernest Brightstorm’s younger brother and the twins’ uncle. Their family is from the North, and the twins meet their Brightstorm grandparents for the first time.
Meanwhile, the song is getting stronger and eventually leads them to the mythical Earth-Bear named Gaia. But no sooner than the twins learns why she has called them all the way here, they are all attacked by Eudora Vane’s ship crew. Gaia is taken as a prisoner and this might be the end of all future hope and reputation for the Brightstorms.
What will happen to Gaia in captivity? Will the twins find their way back home and rescue their friends and save their family?
Views and Reviews:
As the first book introduced us to the world of sky-ships travelling to cold cold South Polaris, and the second book ventured through the seas and to the world of water, this third installment takes us to a landscape of islands formed from and with volcanoes. In addition to the bright book covers, every book also features a map of the areas where the twins are going exploring, thus slowly building the world of this Earth-like planet called the Wide.
In addition to the exploration spirit, this book also features the struggle between humans and natural world. As we see how the Lontowners discovered pitch and started mining and excavations in the far-flung parts of the world, they also seem to disregard the local rules and folklore. Not only that, a faction of the humans is now actively promoting ideas about human superiority over all other species. Thus, the book is also starting to display some of our problems in the way us Earthlings have treated our surroundings and how our industrial revolutions have used our natural resources short-sightedly.
Then the chains of men laid down,
Cold of heart, imprisoned sores.
They laid claim to the great sky.
“Bring, submit! Hold, fear! One, all!”
The character of the Earth-Bear Gaia, will also form the part of the super-sapient eight – thus leading to further explorations looking for such beings in the next books.
In terms of characters, we see that Arthur and Maudie are growing up. It is in this book that they must finally face the fact that they might go their separate ways in life as Arthur is the explorer at heart, while Maudie wants to pursue engineering. This is extremely hard for the twins who have been inseparable so far. But they also find long-lost family, thus giving them more family support than before.
In terms of the younger explorers, the author gives us Gan – who becomes a part of the crew, and we are bound to see her again. In addition to Eudora and her villainous crew, we also meet Corinthius, who at the end of the books, shows us that he might be more dangerous than them all. We also see fragmented, divided Lontown filling up with humans promoting animal hatred. And so the author has built enough interesting elements to keep the excitement and adventures ongoing.
But in spite of the challenges, there is beauty and loveliness in the Wide, as the story shows through the festival of the Bear, the Firesong and legends of this world:
Many moons ago, when everything was being created in the Wide, as continents were forming, lakes were filling, and forests were growing, a great bear was born from the belly of the earth. Being at one with the Wide, it possessed special gifts: it could talk, becoming the voice for all the creatures, plants and flowers. It knew the past, felt the present, and could sense what was to come. And it could sense the truth of a human soul.
Once again, the author highlights the many talents resting inside us and why some of us enjoy the thrill of adventuring in the unknown:
There are deathly sheer walls, a great valley filled with acid lakes and boiling vents, not to mention a volcano of which we know very little, because no one has ever been there! But when were we ever deterred by a bit of hardship?
A book taking us on another adventurous journey of the twins searching for their roots and finding the family and friends while facing the adversities that abound their world…
Around 7.5 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Paperback - Amazon IN
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Kindle EBook - Amazon IN
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Audiobook - Amazon IN
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Paperback - Amazon US
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Kindle EBook - Amazon US
- Buy - Firesong by Vashti Hardy - Audiobook - Amazon US
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