Sky Song
In the snowy kingdom of Erkenwald, whales glide between icebergs, wolves hunt on the tundra and polar bears roam the glaciers. But the people of this land aren’t so easy to find. Because Erkenwald is ruled by a cruel Ice Queen and you must stay hidden or risk becoming another of her prisoners.   Join Eska, a girl who breaks free from a cursed music box, and Flint, a boy whose inventions could change the fate of Erkenwald forever, as they journey together in search of an ancient, almost forgotten, song with the power to force the Ice Queen back.   This is a story about an eagle huntress, an inventor and an organ made of icicles. But it is also a story about belonging, even at the very edges of our world . . .

Sky Song Details

TitleSky Song
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Adventure, Fiction, Magic

Sky Song Review

  • Jo (A follower of wizards)
    January 1, 1970
    I found this little beauty of a book while I was actually looking for something else. It's always the way, isn't it? This book is beautiful. The cover is attractive, the inside cover has this amazing little map that opens out, and hell, even the pages are scrumptious due to the intricate snowflakes dancing around the words. It is clear that great attention has gone into the presentation here. I found this book to be a grand adventure of happiness, sorrow and everything else in between. The prolo I found this little beauty of a book while I was actually looking for something else. It's always the way, isn't it? This book is beautiful. The cover is attractive, the inside cover has this amazing little map that opens out, and hell, even the pages are scrumptious due to the intricate snowflakes dancing around the words. It is clear that great attention has gone into the presentation here. I found this book to be a grand adventure of happiness, sorrow and everything else in between. The prologue and the epilogue are written in mythical style writing, and sometimes while this doesn't work, it really suited the book. The writing is simple, yet it bears some rather important messages of love, hope and courage, that the reader is able to determine with ease.I loved that the main character, Eska, is a strong minded and brave individual, and yet, whatever hardship is thrown at her, she is able to find a way to overcome it. I did become less interested in the story around halfway through, due to the plot becoming a little slow, but apart from that, this was a satisfying read.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Have just finished Sky Song- simply stunning. Another magical tale with lovable characters and some powerful quotes about hope, courage and friendship. The acknowledgments at the end were as moving as the story and Abi truly is an inspiration!
  • Nick Swarbrick
    January 1, 1970
    Abi Elphinstone’s most assured fantasy yet, Sky Song has the internal logic and cosmology of a well framed other world. Some of the imagery is close to Michelle Paver’s Torak in the well-designed land between shamanic culture and Northern European early peoples, but the world and its magic are Abi’s own. Subtler and more complex than the Dreamsnatcher series, it felt (to use an image from the book) that the author has found her voice. I am nevertheless uncomfortable about the child Blu who, alth Abi Elphinstone’s most assured fantasy yet, Sky Song has the internal logic and cosmology of a well framed other world. Some of the imagery is close to Michelle Paver’s Torak in the well-designed land between shamanic culture and Northern European early peoples, but the world and its magic are Abi’s own. Subtler and more complex than the Dreamsnatcher series, it felt (to use an image from the book) that the author has found her voice. I am nevertheless uncomfortable about the child Blu who, although sympathetically drawn, speaks in a curtailed English that comes close to caricature -perhaps in the next in the series more will be made clear?
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  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    A really cute Middle grade fantasy story about friendship and rebellious acts!
  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    Eska is one of many prisoners of the Snow Queen, a villainous ruler who threatens peace in the kingdom of Erkenwald. Eska, with no memories of her past, only knows that she cannot allow the Snow Queen to take her voice, that it might be special in some way... Flint is a boy that creates magical inventions, much to his brother and tribes anger and discomfort. He sneaks into the Snow Queen's palace in an attempt to rescue his mother, yet ends up rescuing Eska instead... At first, I found Flint v Eska is one of many prisoners of the Snow Queen, a villainous ruler who threatens peace in the kingdom of Erkenwald. Eska, with no memories of her past, only knows that she cannot allow the Snow Queen to take her voice, that it might be special in some way... Flint is a boy that creates magical inventions, much to his brother and tribes anger and discomfort. He sneaks into the Snow Queen's palace in an attempt to rescue his mother, yet ends up rescuing Eska instead... At first, I found Flint very unlikable. He was awful to Eska! He didn't want to help her escape, he didn't want to teach her how to survive and - when she grew capable - he didn't want to admit to her that she was doing a good job! He's from a tribe that is basically 'Toxic Masculinity Central' where their only thoughts are to kill rivals with weapons, never show weakness or emotion and never allow yourself to think outside the box. (His tribe and brother hate that Flint is an inventor and won't allow him to use any sort of magic, despite how this could massively help them in a fight). Throughout the book, Eska has to undo this to make Flint a better person. I ended up sympathising with him; the way he was raised had obviously impacted him and he was far more likeable by the end. Yet personally I would rather read about a progressive male character rather than one who needs someone pointing out how troubling his thoughts and actions are. "I don't think you have to fight with weapons to be a warrior. You could fight with love and tears and inventions instead, that would probably be just as good." Eska, on the other hand, I warmed to immediately. She was smart and strong and worked hard to overcome her struggles. She was special without becoming annoying so. "I think gentleness is a mighty word because you have to be strong of heart to be kind." The world-building was nice - you could feel the magic on every page. The tribes, animals and nature aspects reminded me of Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother series, yet it still had its own originality. The theme of belonging was woven throughout the story and was probably my favourite aspect of the book. “Belonging is not about knowing your tribe. It’s about trusting people whatever their tribe … There are many ways to belong.” The Snow Queen wasn’t a particularly interesting villain We only see her briefly throughout the story and we don’t know much about her. Why is she so evil? I don’t know. The story was black-and-white, which I suppose is more common with children’s stories.In fact, as I was reading I was very aware of how this was a book for children. I love children's books... but I felt this was perhaps too young for me. "Sometimes all you can do when you're scared is hope."
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  • Karen Mace
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning read, in the tradition of the classic children' stories, that had me under its' spell from the first page!It's the story of good vs evil! Poor Eska is trapped in a castle by the Ice Queen who is desperate for her to speak so she can feed on her voice to gain the immortality she craves. There is something different about Eska that leaves the Ice Queen to cherish her voice even more. But Eska knows nothing of her past as she has had her memories taken from her, so she is feeling alone b A stunning read, in the tradition of the classic children' stories, that had me under its' spell from the first page!It's the story of good vs evil! Poor Eska is trapped in a castle by the Ice Queen who is desperate for her to speak so she can feed on her voice to gain the immortality she craves. There is something different about Eska that leaves the Ice Queen to cherish her voice even more. But Eska knows nothing of her past as she has had her memories taken from her, so she is feeling alone but determined to be free.Flint is searching for his place in the world too. His brother is the chief of their tribe and Flint wants to do all he can to impress him. Even if that includes crazy schemes to break into the Palace to free their Ma! When he does break in he sees Eska who begs him to help her escape and his kind heart doesn't know how to say no.When they both flee the palace, we get to see their friendship bloom while they travel across dangerous territories. Eska just wants to know who she is and where she came from, while Flint is just desperate for his inventions to be praised by his brother.Add in some amazing animal guides, a magical and fantastical world, brave quests and adventures and you'll find that this is such a wonderful escapist read for those of all ages! It is full of courage and the message to believe in yourself and it was just a delight to read!
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  • Milou
    January 1, 1970
    The prologue (and epilogue) of this book are told in a folktale/myth kind of style which does a great job of setting the scene without making it feel like an infodump, and also nicely 'frames' the story, giving it a clear beginning and ending while also making it seem like part of something bigger. It gives the story a magical feel, in which not everything needs to have a logical explanation.The writing style, though simple - it is a middle grade story - does a great job of pulling the reader in The prologue (and epilogue) of this book are told in a folktale/myth kind of style which does a great job of setting the scene without making it feel like an infodump, and also nicely 'frames' the story, giving it a clear beginning and ending while also making it seem like part of something bigger. It gives the story a magical feel, in which not everything needs to have a logical explanation.The writing style, though simple - it is a middle grade story - does a great job of pulling the reader in and sketching the world around the characters. You can just feel the cold (which is helped by the snowflakes illustrating all the pages). I read this in a single sitting, only pausing to refill my tea and have peepee breaks. The snowflakes show that great attention is given to the overall book, not just the story. This is also clear from the GORGEOUS cover, and the stunning map inside, as well as the french flaps. The whole book is just an absolute thing of beauty.I really enjoyed how close everything in this book stood to nature. The different tribes and their cultures, the way the animals that are hunted are thanked, the sources of the magic, and of course Eska's background. It was all just beautifully done and worked really well with the folktale vibe and snowy, desolate setting.Which, lastly, brings us to the characters. They are great. Yes, the villain is just evil for no good reason, but that doesn't feel necessary seeing her origin. Eska is a wonderful main character, who grows a lot throughout the story. Because she cannot remember her past and therefore doesn't really know herself, she is difficult to connect to at the start, but the strength and perseverance she shows is inspiring. Flint is a boy who is an inventor among his tribe of warriors, but eventually he does find his place. I loved that he cries (for good reasons) and it is made clear that that is okay ('tears are just a warm-up for bravery). His little sister may have some form of mental disability (it is stated there is something 'wrong' with her, but never explained what), which is mainly shown in her different and simple way of talking. This is never ridiculed though. She is just as much part of the team, and her heart of gold made me instantly love her.I originally picked this up purely based on the cover, and am now so happy I did. It is a beautiful story.
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  • Leilah Skelton
    January 1, 1970
    Flint set out to rescue one of his own from the clutches of the evil Ice Queen, but ended up freeing a stranger. Eska, a girl with no memory of her past, must find a way to break a curse and save the fate of a people to whom she doesn’t seem to belong.Can tribes see past their differences and deep suspicions of ‘outsiders’ to unite against a common enemy? Can Flint, - himself a far from standard warrior, with his belief in Old Magic and his gift for inventing, - punch through prejudice and learn Flint set out to rescue one of his own from the clutches of the evil Ice Queen, but ended up freeing a stranger. Eska, a girl with no memory of her past, must find a way to break a curse and save the fate of a people to whom she doesn’t seem to belong.Can tribes see past their differences and deep suspicions of ‘outsiders’ to unite against a common enemy? Can Flint, - himself a far from standard warrior, with his belief in Old Magic and his gift for inventing, - punch through prejudice and learn to trust the unknown? Just maybe:‘… Flint found himself wondering whether birthplace, parentage and appearance were really the things that you should list people under. Somehow courage and loyalty seemed better markers.’Abi Elphinstone has woven the glittering magic of old fairy tales onto a wild, frozen tundra, and the result is the sparkling brilliance of Sky Song. With research that led her to the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia, sped her by huskies over the snow and ice of the arctic, lifted her face to the dancing Northern Lights, and saw her serenaded by the calls of underwater giants, this book has become a song to wilderness, and wildness, and to life itself. This breathtaking quest kept me hooked. Finding your tribe is a key theme that sits comfortably alongside the humour of a ravenous pup, the courage of a little sister, and the trust and faith that comes with opening your heart to new people, new thinking, new friendships and new possibilities. A truly exceptional tale.
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  • Laura Noakes
    January 1, 1970
    This book was EVERYTHING. I really enjoyed Abi’s first trilogy, but Eska stole my heart from the first page. Eska is just a wonderful character, and her growth from prisoner stripped of everything to determined young person is astounding.Winter is so important to this story, it seeps through every page. Reading this whilst the January winds roared outside my bedroom, a cup of tea by my side, felt very apt.The one theme that permeates SKY SONG is friendship. The relationships between our main cha This book was EVERYTHING. I really enjoyed Abi’s first trilogy, but Eska stole my heart from the first page. Eska is just a wonderful character, and her growth from prisoner stripped of everything to determined young person is astounding.Winter is so important to this story, it seeps through every page. Reading this whilst the January winds roared outside my bedroom, a cup of tea by my side, felt very apt.The one theme that permeates SKY SONG is friendship. The relationships between our main characters, and our MC’s and the animals is just so darn special. I especially gravitated towards Finn and Blu’s relationship–it was so caring and loving, but tough at times–realistic.SKY SONG is a classic in the making. It reads as an action packed fairytale, simultaneously familiar and brand new. It is magical in its purest sense, a quest of belonging that you can’t help but throw yourself completely into.This book is a celebration of bravery and friendship, and I would recommend it to everyone who loves fairytales, rich mythology and a heart-thumping-ly exciting plot.
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  • Gaem Phisalaphong
    January 1, 1970
    It made me cry........... It was so sad for like 4 pages then BAM! It turned like better and good. It seriously made me feel like my reading emotions were in a rollercoaster ahhhhhhh. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND IT!!! 👍 😍🤣
  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely middle grade fantasy quest book. Really generated a lot of feel good emotions and warmth. I loved Eska, Flint and Blu, and their animals! Flint in particular with his magic and inventions was really lovely, especially in how he is with Blu and in looking after her. It’s just gorgeously written and incredibly evocative. Eska is a bit harder to connect with, possibly through not knowing much about herself, but I loved her strength and faith. And they all display such bravery. Also as a si A lovely middle grade fantasy quest book. Really generated a lot of feel good emotions and warmth. I loved Eska, Flint and Blu, and their animals! Flint in particular with his magic and inventions was really lovely, especially in how he is with Blu and in looking after her. It’s just gorgeously written and incredibly evocative. Eska is a bit harder to connect with, possibly through not knowing much about herself, but I loved her strength and faith. And they all display such bravery. Also as a side note, the book cover and art inside (including the map) is just stunning, as is the snowflake page art on every page. Yep, every single page has tiny little snowflake decoration and it is glorious. Easily one of the most physically beautiful books I’ve read.
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  • Bookwormandtheatremouse
    January 1, 1970
    There is always something very magical about stories that have a snow and ice setting. It automatically conjures up ideas of magical creatures and amazing adventures. This is true in Sky Song - Erkenwald is caught in a prolonged winter due to the control of the Ice Queen (a perfect villain). Our young heroes, each with their different skill, need to prevent this becoming forever and return the Sky Gods and their power. It is a brilliant adventure story that truly captures the imagination - would There is always something very magical about stories that have a snow and ice setting. It automatically conjures up ideas of magical creatures and amazing adventures. This is true in Sky Song - Erkenwald is caught in a prolonged winter due to the control of the Ice Queen (a perfect villain). Our young heroes, each with their different skill, need to prevent this becoming forever and return the Sky Gods and their power. It is a brilliant adventure story that truly captures the imagination - would be perfect to read snuggled up during dark nights of winter. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good old fashioned adventure!
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  • Layla
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5! Review to come!
  • Fiona M
    January 1, 1970
    Counting this as my final read of 2017 as I only had 30 pages left to read going into the New Year.A very wonderful magical tale full of animals and friendship.A full review will come soon
  • Ros
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent vocabulary and very well written. I’m going to suggest it for Y4 or Y5 to read.
  • Stephen Connor
    January 1, 1970
    A magical fantasy adventure that follows Eska, a young girl who has been trapped by the Ice Queen as she seeks to take her voice and achieve immortality. Eska escapes the Queen’s clutches and falls in with Flint, a boy from the Fur Tribe. He doesn’t trust Eska to begin with, but, as with Eska’s relationship with Balapan, a golden eagle, this changes as the story’s theme of trust, hope and friendship are explored. Eska, Balapan, Flint, and Flint’s sister, Blu, work together to fight against the o A magical fantasy adventure that follows Eska, a young girl who has been trapped by the Ice Queen as she seeks to take her voice and achieve immortality. Eska escapes the Queen’s clutches and falls in with Flint, a boy from the Fur Tribe. He doesn’t trust Eska to begin with, but, as with Eska’s relationship with Balapan, a golden eagle, this changes as the story’s theme of trust, hope and friendship are explored. Eska, Balapan, Flint, and Flint’s sister, Blu, work together to fight against the odds, finding out why Eska is wanted by the Ice Queen and learning the power of collaboration. Wonderful language, non-stop magic and adventure, and a fitting rollercoaster ending. Abi Elphinstone’s acknowledgements at the end are just as heart-rending, showing that the courage shown in the book doesn’t just come from the characters.
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  • Rosie
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely read. The strongest part of this book for me is definitely the characters. I wholeheartedly rooted for the protagonists, Eska, Flint and Blue, and I was terrified of the villain! Whenever she (the Ice Queen) showed up I always felt incredibly anxious for the protags (because they are just so likable! Particularly Blue, in my opinion, I loved her) and scared of her. Another thing the author handles well is the setting. It's beautifully described and her writing is so immersive - I could A lovely read. The strongest part of this book for me is definitely the characters. I wholeheartedly rooted for the protagonists, Eska, Flint and Blue, and I was terrified of the villain! Whenever she (the Ice Queen) showed up I always felt incredibly anxious for the protags (because they are just so likable! Particularly Blue, in my opinion, I loved her) and scared of her. Another thing the author handles well is the setting. It's beautifully described and her writing is so immersive - I could easily imagine everything. I could imagine the cold, the towering cliffs, the wide, empty fields of snow, the deep forest - the author's writing is beautiful. Another plus, considering the target audience, is the strong female character lead, the lovely friendship between two girls (Eska and Blue), and a lovely boy and a girl friendship (that remained platonic! Not that romance is bad, it's just nice to see platonic friendships between girls and boys). It was lovely to see positive rep of a child with down syndrome as well, and the sweet, protective (on both sides!) sibling relationship between Flint and Blue. I really enjoyed reading this and I will definitely be picking up more by this author (I'd probably even give this one a re-read!).Real rating: 3.5 (I really wish it was possible to do .5 ratings on goodreads!). edit: I decided to up the rating as it's been months since I read it but I still often think about it - it's such an imaginative, lovely book and I really want to read more of Abi Elphinstone's works.
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  • Serendipity Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    What a stunning book! It's not a book, it's a spiral slide into another world. The descriptions are so breathtaking and real you can almost see the icicles forming on your every breath. The action keeps you on the edge of the seat all the way through. The ending is so intense - so may things happen that you start to believe that Eska won't win.The comparisons to C.S. Lewis are truly earned by the author. This book is a future award winner.
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  • Ben Trevail
    January 1, 1970
    An alluring mix of Narnia meets Northern Lights; a fantasy adventure of friendship, hope, magic and sheer bloodymindedness of our protagonists, Eska and Flint. Our current class read is The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, and this will make a fine companion for my stronger Y4 readers.
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  • Catriona Wightman
    January 1, 1970
    Read this one for work and it was glorious - a proper good old-fashioned children’s adventure, full of magical beasts and quests and an evil Ice Queen and a chillingly beautiful snowy landscape. Really great fun, but also touching - the themes of outsiders and tribes have never felt more relevant.
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  • Justine Laismith
    January 1, 1970
    If you are looking for adventure in a magical wintry setting, you've come to the right place. Combining concepts from Greek mythology, astronomy and Narnia, this book is about two children thwarting the Evil Queen's plan to rule the world.I liked how our main character grew from this frail girl to a determined one. I liked the inventions like the Anything Knife. The magical Erkenbears remind me of the armoured bears from The Golden Compass, except I prefer their inter-species transformation.In s If you are looking for adventure in a magical wintry setting, you've come to the right place. Combining concepts from Greek mythology, astronomy and Narnia, this book is about two children thwarting the Evil Queen's plan to rule the world.I liked how our main character grew from this frail girl to a determined one. I liked the inventions like the Anything Knife. The magical Erkenbears remind me of the armoured bears from The Golden Compass, except I prefer their inter-species transformation.In short, this book has a lot of creativity. Occasionally, you might feel you've come across the concept or character before, but it's done with enough modification that you won't feel the author's just copied someone else's ideas.An enjoyable read.
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  • BeBe
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry to break it to you, but this is basically frozen 3,(frozen 2 is a thing so it had to be 3) except for the only good character, Olaf, seizes to exist. Unless you are searching for a book that consists of fishing, go read 13 minutes, a wonderful book that isn’t about fishing. Also sky song is exceedingly childish and made me gag. But then it got me thinking, what if the queen ate her own voice? It would be like a dog eating it’s nose, or an elephant eating its ears. Sounds soooooooo interest Sorry to break it to you, but this is basically frozen 3,(frozen 2 is a thing so it had to be 3) except for the only good character, Olaf, seizes to exist. Unless you are searching for a book that consists of fishing, go read 13 minutes, a wonderful book that isn’t about fishing. Also sky song is exceedingly childish and made me gag. But then it got me thinking, what if the queen ate her own voice? It would be like a dog eating it’s nose, or an elephant eating its ears. Sounds soooooooo interesting, doesn’t it? Don’t read it, don’t re-read it, or it’s very likely you’ll die of boredom. Sorry if you find this offensive but don’t blame me. it’s not just from me it’s from my whole form.
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  • David Barker
    January 1, 1970
    A middle-grade book with a convincing setting in a land full of eskimoes, Mongolian culture, dire-bears etc. The magic in this land is from the stars and music - a nice, unusual choice. The characters are well realised, especially Blu, whose Downs syndrome is treated deftly. Great pace to the adventure, some good humour and plenty of drama and tension. My 12-year old absolutely loved this book and I enjoyed it too.
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  • Eleanor Slater
    January 1, 1970
    An action packed adventure filled with magical inventions, loyal friends, beautifully wild creatures and brave children. Eska and Flint are a brilliant duo and their quest to save Erkenwald takes them through a brilliantly imaginative series of scrapes and near misses with the ominous Ice Queen ever on their case! A must read for all ages!
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    Sky Song is one of a kind. It had a storyline that could not be conjured up in a few minutes, it was a lot deeper and thoughtful and touching than I was expecting. I found it beautiful in so many ways. I loved how Abi Elphinstone spoke of the wild, peaceful yet inpredictable. How everything could talk in its own special way, and everything could move differently. And how all of it had a bond with Eska. Eska grew, matured and changed so much throughout the book, and it was written so descretly th Sky Song is one of a kind. It had a storyline that could not be conjured up in a few minutes, it was a lot deeper and thoughtful and touching than I was expecting. I found it beautiful in so many ways. I loved how Abi Elphinstone spoke of the wild, peaceful yet inpredictable. How everything could talk in its own special way, and everything could move differently. And how all of it had a bond with Eska. Eska grew, matured and changed so much throughout the book, and it was written so descretly that it was barely noticed, but still there. Everything in this book was so special; every word had a special meaning and everything that happened was amazing.I would recommend this book to anyone that likes any genre, of any age. Sky Song is one of a kind and should be read by everyone .
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  • Rebecca Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Found this book a little difficult to get into but once I had read a few chapters I was hooked. It’s an incredibly moving story about friendships that can be formed regardless of who you are. Abi has created another interesting story with more loveable characters - Blu is my favourite! It is also nice to see there being an inclusion of all characters who may have a variety of needs.
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  • Michelle Simpson
    January 1, 1970
    Although I was sceptical at first, it has quite a good base idea and great characters to go with.The snow golems were a bit wierd and I think that Flint's character needed a bit of work but apart from that yeah pretty good.
  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    Our January kids book of the month. I loved this. It's beautifully written and kids and adults alike will love it.
  • BiblioPhil
    January 1, 1970
    Superb fantasy, another instance of a children's book being streets ahead of adults'.
  • Christina Reid
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful book, full of heart and hope.Full RTC!
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