Review by Mia Madden, aged 13.
This book is the sequel to A Cage of Roots. It again follows Ayla, Benvy, Finny and Sean through caves underground in ancient Ireland. The mangled flesh and root bodied Queen Maeve has escaped the caves and Ayla wants to hunt down and destroy her. Since her uncles Lann, Fergus and Yaig gave their lives to heal the group of friends, Maeve is the only thing that has been on Ayla’s mind. A rift begins to grow between her and her friends and Finny, Benvy and Sean set off to free girls who have been turned into goblins. The group succeed in freeing one, but she runs away. While searching for her, the gang stumble across the exit. They leave and find the goblin girl. But it isn’t long before they are attacked by giant wolves. The friends have a row and split up, Ayla and Finny storming off, and Benvy, Sean and the goblin girl on a set path. Both parties get caught up in a war which means friend versus friend. Can their friendship survive the war?
While I was reading this it was pretty hard not to imagine Ayla as Aayla Secura, the blue Twi’lek Jedi from Star Wars, and Finnyas my brother Finn. My imagination can run a bit off track sometimes. Anyway, this book is another action-packed story of the buddies from Kilnabracka. It taught me things I didn’t know about Irish mythology, had brilliant battle scenes ( I LOVE battles!) and amazing adventures (you like my alliteration?). All of this, plus illustrations, crammed into a single 250 page novel.
I would recommend this perfect page-turner for ages 11+.