Song Of The Far Isles by Nicolas Bowling

Publication Date: 1 July 2021

The Blurb

Every islander has a birth instrument and a life song – and the ancestors, called ghasts, linger to hear the music. But when the Duchess arrives from the mainland bringing orders of silence, she threatens the ghasts’ existence, the very soul of the community. When Oran hears of a mythical instrument with the power to manipulate hearts, she brings her ghast best friend, Alick, on a quest to find it, play it, and change the Duchess’s mind …

Cover illustration by Olga Baumert

The Review

An utterly captivating, enchanting, gripping read. The old music hums and vibrates, urging you on as the story unfolds. Myth and music are at the heart of this magical adventure.

The wild setting is so skilfully created you can feel the winds and taste the salt spray as Oran and Alick set out on their mission to save the music that binds their community together, and feel the silence between the bustling streets of The Headland.

The characterisations are strong, and you find yourself willing Oran and Alick on through every trial and adversity they face. But even those characters who are harder to like are easy to empathise with, once you understand their motives.

My absolute favourite part was travelling with The Opera, but I’ll let you meet them for yourselves and discover their secrets.

The illustrated glossary of instruments is a huge added bonus allowing us to fully understand them and the sounds they produce in the right hands, as is the map of the Far Isles at the beginning of the book.

One of my favourite reads this year!

Great for fans of:

  • The Ghost Of Gosswater by Lucy Strange
  • Storm Witch by Ellen Renner
  • The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgess

Huge thanks to Chicken House for sending me a finished copy. You can read an extract here.