'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 22 January 2017

Review: The Book of Whispers

It's no wonder The Book of Whispers won the prestigious 2015 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. It might be a single novel but it reads like an epic. I was so deeply immersed into its medieval worlds that I felt I'd lived through years by the time I emerged for breath at the end.

Kimberley Starr has interwoven historical fact with the mythological world of demons so deftly that it's often hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins in her thrumming three-dimensional tale set in 1096 AD. I wandered through rural Tuscany, explored the limestone caves of Cappadocia and watched how people lived and died on pilgrimage. Not only was there death by disease, starvation and war, demons exerted their terrifying  influence.

Luca dreams of his father's murder night after night. He also sees demons that no one else can. When Luca's father joins a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, Luca is determined to go along and protect him, whether his father gives permission or not. Suzan also has prophetic dreams but she is imprisoned with her mute mother in an underground convent in Cappadocia hundreds of miles from Luca's home. When their paths cross, it's no surprise that the two join forces but what follows is far from predictable.

The Book of Whispers is a brutal historical fantasy roller coaster with more than enough action and intrigue to keep you glued to the page. But be warned: if demons freak you out or gory details leave you queasy, this might not be the book for you.

Title: The Book of Whispers
Author: Kimberley Starr
Publisher: Text Publishing, $19.99
Publication Date: 3 October 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925355512
For ages: 14 years +
Type: Young Adult