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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Stormswept (The Ingo Chronicles, Book 5)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 January 2012
One of the reasons why I was so eager to read Helen Dunmore's original Ingo series was the publication this January of the first in the new Ingo Chronicles, Stormswept. The cover alone was enough to make me know I had to read it. It is indeed a beautiful book on the outside, so what about its innards?

In Stormswept we are introduced to two new young siblings who are on the cusp of growing into themselves. Twin sisters Morveren and Jenna, almost 14 years old, live on an island that is joined to the Cornish mainland by a causeway that only emerges at lowtide. One day a great storm strikes the coast, bringing the islanders together to search for shipwrecked sailors. Morveren, however, discovers more than she bargains for when she comes across Malin, a boy, a little older than herself, who has been stranded on the rocks and is injured. It's his tail that's injured - Malin is a son of the Mer.

Morveren finds herself drawn to Malin and Ingo while her little brother Digory hears music coming from the waves. Jenna, though, is very much of Air and she resists, forming her own difficult relationship with the troubled Bran. It isn't long before these worlds and interests collide and Malin is in danger.

The beginning of Stormswept is completely enchanting. The descriptions of the two girls racing across the causeway as the tides rise and the telling of the legend of the island's formation which the islanders mark with their music... beautiful, magical prose draws you in to this world where sea and land meet.

The original Ingo series is a hard act to follow. While the quality of the writing of Stormswept certainly doesn't disappoint there is something a little predictable about the story and this is much more of a novel for young teens (or younger) than the Ingo novels, which have the power to pull in people of all ages. Nevertheless, speaking as someone who probably isn't a membership of the target readership but a big fan of YA fiction, there is much I enjoyed, especially the relationship between the twins as well as the seven-year-old Digory who I think is quite the scene-stealer. Malin, himself, is much less interesting than his parents (and Faro from the other novels for that matter), particularly his mother who has to overcome her greatest fears to be closer to her stranded son.

I hope that as the Chronicles continue we will see more of the dancing, singing Mer and learn more about their history, which is just hinted at here. I'm interested to see how the girls develop but more than anything I'm looking forward to returning to this enchanted island.
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on 12 November 2016
I picked up Ingo from a charity shop, not realizing it was a kids book - I 'd read Helen Dunmores 'The Greatcoat' before and enjoyed it,
anyway I got hooked and ordered a load more in the Ingo chronicles, and Stormswept was the first to arrive. Its a standalone novel,
not directly connected with Sapphy and Conor and their search for their missing dad, but it doesn't hurt to have read Ingo first. This story is
set on an unnamed Cornish Island that seems a lot like St Michaels Mount [the nearest town on the mainland is Marazance, Marazion + Penzance]
and concerns twin sisters Morveren and Jenna who find a Mer -boy stranded on the beach. Theres a lot of legend in the background - the Cornish and Bretons both have legends of sunken cities off their coasts, the Cornish one is Lyonesse and the Breton city is Ys. The son of the local gangster is called Bran [Celtic Raven God] and theres an enchanted fiddle that plays underwater belonging to a legendary fiddler called Conan! [the barbarian?] so plenty of references to Celtic mythology. Morveren seems to have inherited some Mer genes as she finds she can breathe underwater, she is almost tempted to leave her human life and join the Mer.............anyway a cracking good tale, looking forward to the rest of the series
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VINE VOICEon 3 August 2014
Helen Dunmore averaged one Ingo novel a year until the fourth book (which I did not like). I figured she was either out of ideas or series had reached it's intended conclusion. Four years later she gave us Stormswept, which I picked up with little enthusiasm. I'm happy to say it's a huge improvement.

Instead of telling us another story about Sapphire and Conor Stormswept is more of a side-quel and introduces new characters in the form of argumentative telepathic twins Morveren and Jenna, stuck together, torn apart, and as different as they are similar. After a heavy storm pounds their island home the twins find a beached mer-man in the form of Malin, who has been injured and cannot get back to the sea/Ingo. They dump him in a secluded rock pool and help him get better, but Morveren, like Sapphire before her, can feel the pull of Ingo and is able to breathe underwater, though her sister cannot.

Not especially much happens in Stormswept but the naturalized narration helped me get into the story more while The Crossing of Ingo was full of fantasy-babble which alienated me. I am still hooked on the series and if Helen Dunmore is still cranking them out then I am still buying.
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on 3 July 2013
I bought this as travel reading because I had quite liked the original Ingo series. It's well written and I liked the character/relationship development - it would have been nice to have more of Bran, as he's so crucial to the plot ( and that's all I'm saying!), whereas Malin gets lots of page time but never really developed for me - although I didn't like him, which may have had something to do with it! The human girl/mer boy relationship was very similar to the main protagonists in the earlier Ingo books - it would be nice to see human/mer interactions developing from a different start point, like platonic friendship, or children helping adults, or vice versa.

One thing I did really like is the way that the author isn't afraid to let the characters air narrow minded, bigoted opinions. It's an interesting exploration of that strange place where we have learnt to distrust or hate a particular group of people, but actually quite like individual members of that group once we've met them - for a good relationship of whatever kind to develop you have to start questioning your views about their culture or nation.

If you like mermaid stories, there are a couple of cracking ones in the Water anthology by Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley:
Water Elemental Spirits Robin McKinley
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on 17 August 2015
with having read the first four ingo books (ingo, the tide knot, the deep and the crossing of ingo) this book was a bit of a shock to the system.

the first four books have Sapphire Trewhella and her brother Conor as the main characters. they live in senara churchtown (zennor) near the town of st pirans (st ives). stormswept, however, has some entierly differant characters. this story is set on the isand (st Michaels mount) by the town of marazance (its actually marazion and the "zance" comes from penzance, marazions closest town). the main character is called movereen (maybe...i cant actually remember as the ast time i read this book was ages ago). im glad that it was still set in cornwall as i like to read a book set so close to home (im cornish and i live in cornwall). the first books where slightly better and i would give them 5 stars.

i highly recommend this book for 9-15 year olds who like mer/fantasy books.

this book is amazing and please buy it!!!
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on 11 January 2012
If you've never read any middle grade, you are missing out! This story is so pure. Stormswept is so well written. It is almost lyrical, like music.

I've not read a Mer story in awhile, and the summary intrigued me. I'm so glad I picked it up. I loved it! Morveren lives by the sea and finds a Mer Boy who has been beached. With her twin sister, she gets him to safety in a pool of water close by. But, not back in the sea. While Malin is trying to recover, Morveren is trying to find out how to make him better and get him back to the sea and to his people. She goes on an adventure. She finds out about the Mer people and more about herself.

This is a beautifully crafted story. I can almost feel the sea calling to me now. I know it sounds weird, but it truly feels like you become part of the ocean when you're reading. I can not wait for more Ingo Chronicles!

I've done some research, and Stormswept is the 2nd wave in the Ingo Chronicles series. The earlier books are; Ingo (2005), The Tide Knot (2006), The Deep (2007), The Crossing of Ingo (2008). I can not wait to read them!
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on 3 September 2013
This is my first Ingo book, and I was so very impressed with the way Helen Dunmore explains and describes the Mer folk, and passionate way she describes the relationship the human characters have with the sea. Having lived most of my life in Devon and Cornwall, much of that by the sea, I felt deeply connected to this book.

For that alone, the book should have got a 4, but unfortunately the story really lost pace around the middle, and I found that the central themes and motifs were over-used in a repetitive way. I also felt that, despite the Mer' s essential otherness, which was well represented, the character of Malin proved too unlikable.
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on 7 February 2015
I had not read the prequels to this novel, as my daughter brought one home (The Deep) from the school library and seemed to be enjoying it, I downloaded a kindle version. Very beautifully written and engaging. Suitable for a confident 9 year old reader and above, with plenty to talk about afterwards.
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on 11 January 2014
"Stormswept" was bought for my granddaughter,who has always loved stories about mermaids. She has absolutely enjoyed the book, so much so,that we bought the complete series by Helen Dunmore .They have been read time and time again.It's an excellent series for children,girls mainly,from the age of seven.Don't hesitate in buying the book for your Grandchildren,they will be delighted!
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on 6 September 2017
once again another good read
Recommended for all ages
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