BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
This week sees the publication of Amy Wilson's Owl and the Lost Boy, the magical follow up to A Girl Called Owl. The story invites readers to be swept back into the utterly magical world of A Girl Called Owl, in which human and fairy worlds meet and the natural elements have a bewitching power.
Not impressed at now being locked in a seemingly eternal summer, Owl (Jack Frost's daughter) is fed up and struggling with the heat. Owl knows what is needed - she must find the missing Earl of Autumn's son Alberic in order to bring Autumn back into her world. Owl faces dark forces, a call to be brave and a mighty battle between elements in order to restore natural order.
Amy Wilson's books really are the finest in middle grade fiction when it comes to bringing contemporary, real life struggles into stunning magical worlds, and fans will no doubt be delighted at the chance to return to the magical world of the first book.
To celebrate the release of, Owl and the Lost Boy, we are delighted to have a special guest post from Amy today, discussing the role that settings play in her writing...
by Amy WIlson , author of Owl and the Lost Boy (available here)
Oh I do love a good setting. I love a big old house, all tumbledown and shadowy, and I love the snap of undergrowth in a forest, where branches cross overhead and vines are fingers, reaching out. Or a school, where corridors erupt with sudden noise and bustle as classes come to an end. Or a strange, mysterious no-place, where anything is possible and the ground is shifting sand.
I think it’s about the mood, primarily. Take your character, with all their fears and hopes and flaws, and send them into something strange and beautiful, and quite possibly dangerous, and what happens? Who will they discover in that place? Now that I come to think about it, most of my stories feature my protagonist venturing boldly into new terrain, perhaps in search of something specific, perhaps not aware yet that they are seeking. But in any case, what they find is peril - and the start of a new adventure, new friendships, and new discoveries about themselves. Ultimately that setting will lead them to just what they needed, even if they don’t know it yet.
The very first scene of Owl and the Lost Boy is set in the old copse of trees where the fae can be found. They are there, Owl knows it, but she cannot find them, because she cannot get in. The whole place has been taken over by the Lady Midday, and eternal summer, and just as that is bad for Owl, it’s bad for the world. Those stinging vines and the bright new flowers with their pungent scent all speak of danger – and it’s a very real danger, that will lead Owl to the tricksy world of Time, where nothing is as it seems. It is in that place, that setting with its ever-shifting façade, that Owl faces her greatest uncertainty and fights to stand on solid ground once more; to save the world, and everything in it.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending us a review copy and to Amy for the guest post. For more on the book, follow along with the other stops on the blog tour, too.
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