This book was an absolute treat to read. Wonderfully visual, tense at moments and full of hope, I’m really glad I picked this one up. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a proof copy!
The snowy kingdom of Erkenwald was once a thriving, joyous land. Tribes worked together in harmony, sharing food and advice. But when the Ice Queen decides she wants control, she darkens the land and takes who she can as prisoner to the dreadful Winterfang Palace. Desperate to use the voices of all the inhabitants, there is one person that she needs the most. Eska, an unusual girl who has been marked by the sky gods.
When Eska is freed from a cursed music box she quickly joins Flint, a brilliant inventor who has never given up the belief of magic. But to push the Ice Queen back, they have to get the rest of the tribes to also believe…
Let me start by saying that the writing style of Sky Song was gorgeous. It was so visually stunning, and I could easily visualise the snowy peaks of the Nevercliffs or the wooded hideaway of the Fur Tribe. Not only has Abi Elphinstone done a fantastic job of crafting these stunning worlds, she also has a brilliant way of creating believable and loveable characters. Flint had to be my favourite; he was confident and proud of his tribe, but fiercely defensive of his younger sister Blu. This brotherly protection was so lovely, especially when his default mode was to be wary of anybody interacting with her. Flint was also very worried of his belief in magic, and was constantly torn between belief and denial.
Eska’s story was so clever, and one that I think is a brilliant one to teach to children. The idea of the outsider not being accepted by any of the tribes out of fear is something we sadly see in society today. It was hard to see her get turned away and have to fend for herself at times when she only ever wanted to belong and to do the right thing. She yearned for that acceptance, knowing that in her heart she wasn’t a bad person no matter what anyone else said. She was a joy to read, with such determination and hope for the future of Erkenwald, and it’s great to see such determination in characters.
The only thing that makes my rating lower than five is the fact that the ending felt a little rushed. I was so swept up in the story that when I got to the last page I was really surprised, and in fact wanted to continue turning the pages to find more story! It was over all too quickly 😦
Final thought: A beautifully written and brave story: 4.5/5