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A Mediterranean Bronze Age Adventure novel
on 26 January 2014
This a second offering, from what is to be a five-part series mixing magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin.
Book 2 shows our hero and co having to thwart the Crows, an evil family that uses slaves labour to run its copper mining operation – this dreadful enterprise is run in appalling settings. With the fore telling of a prophecy, Hylas manages against the odds to survive book one. However, there is plenty of misfortune heading towards him in the books to come. This volume does give some recap of book one for readers who haven't read it.
While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. Her well rounded stalwart characters always do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style that has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion.