BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
We are delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Guy Jones' new book The Fire Maker.
Read on for a review of the book followed by an exclusive guest post by author Guy Jones about
his fascination with magical creatures.
Book Title: The Fire Maker (available here)
Author: Guy Jones
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: April 2019
Most Suitable For: Years 4-6
Reviewed By: Tami Wylie, Primary Teacher
The Fire Maker is an enthralling, spine-tingling adventure full of magic, mystery and wonder.
From the moment the book is opened, the reader is completely immersed in Alex’s story. Alex is 11 years old and loves magic. He dreams of being a famous magician like his idol, Jack Keller. Unfortunately, Alex is often bullied because of his obsession with magic.
One night, while running from his tormentors, Alex’s life changes forever when he makes a momentous discovery. As he meets the mysterious Mr. Olmos, his life will never be the same again. Has Alex discovered that magic is real? Will his hero turn out to be everything that he imagined? Will he be able to overcome his problems and become a magician himself?
This is a wonderful story filled with vivid description that fully immerses you in the narrative. The characters are very relatable for today’s world, while also providing an exciting escape into a magical world. The plot is full of twists and turns and surprises. Once I started reading The Fire Maker, I couldn’t put it down and I know lots of children who will also love reading this book.
by Guy Jones, author of The Fire Maker
In my new book, The Fire Maker, a twelve-year-old aspiring magician named Alex Warner discovers three fire spirits – known as ifrit – living in his neighbour’s garden shed. In Islamic tradition the ifrit are a powerful class of jinn – a race of supernatural beings set just beneath angels and demons. In western culture, of course, we know them best as genies.
One of the joys of writing The Fire Maker was researching jinn mythology; although I must confess that those appearing in the book have natures, abilities and a surrounding folklore that is largely of my own creation. Magical creatures have always fascinated me, and to celebrate the release of the book, here are three of my favourites:
The Wendigo, found in the myths of the Algonquian peoples of North America, is not the kind of character you’d like to run into on a dark night. In some versions the Wendigo is an emaciated, rotting monster, while in others it is a spirit with the power to possess and corrupt humans. In both cases the result is the same – a murderous creature with an insatiable desire for human flesh. Best avoided.
Like the Wendigo, the Irish Banshee’s appearance differs from story to story. Sometimes young and beautiful, more often impossibly ancient, the cries of this fairie creature are an omen of death. The banshee herself is not usually a malevolent figure however frightening she may be. The origins of the story are thought to lie in an old Celtic tradition in which women known as ‘keeners’ were paid to sing laments at funerals.
In Japanese folklore The Yuki Onna is an inhumanly beautiful, pale skinned woman who leaves no footprints where she walks. She appears to travellers on snowy nights, often either freezing them with her touch or simply luring them to their deaths. In later versions she is somewhat more forgiving. One famous story tells of a young boy rescued from a storm by a Yuki Onna on the condition he never speaks of her. The boy keeps his promise until years later he confides in his wife, who is then revealed to be the snow woman herself. She spares him on the condition that he continues to care for their children. The Yuki Onna made an appearance in early drafts of my first book, The Ice Garden, though ultimately, she was blown away on the wind…
THE FIRE MAKER by Guy Jones is out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)
Follow Guy on Twitter @guyjones80
Many thanks to Guy for writing the guest post, to the publisher for sending us a review copy of the book and to Tami for reviewing it.
Remember to check out the other stops on the blog tour!