Book Review: The Storm Keeper's Island




Synopsis:

Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn's grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down.

Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island's next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.


Review:

Main character Fionn is grieving the loss of his father and navigating his mother's clinical depression when he and his sister Tara are sent to live with his grandfather on Arranmore Island. Fionn discovers the island is magic and is protected by his grandfather, the Keeper, who Fionn must become once his grandfather retires.


The themes of destiny, purpose, identity, loss, grief and belonging are heavily sprinkled throughout the book. During puberty and when grieving a loved one, people tend to lose their identity and lose their sense of belonging in life - Fionn is going through both of these situations at the same time, navigating prepubescence, the loss of his father and coping with the absence of his mother whilst in an unfamiliar town, and so Fionn goes through a magnificent journey of self-discovery and accepting Arranmore Island as 'home'. The magical aspects of the story only add to this as escapism and the belief in the impossible are often what a person needs to get through hard times.


Storm Keeper's Island is also a book about empathy, adaptation and overcoming adversity. When Fionn first arrives in Arronmore he is without either of his parental figures and has no friends, but by the end of the trilogy he has a fantastic group, a place to call home and forges a great relationship with his grandfather. Further into the books Fionn's grandfather's Alzheimer's progresses and Fionn learns, as with his mother's depression, that the Alzheimer's does not define his grandfather as a person. The Storm Keeper's Island trilogy is a fantastic series for children who love magic, are feeling lost and/or have family members with mental illness.

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