Firesong by William Nicholson
The story begins where the second book left off – the Manth people are still journeying to their ‘homeland’ beyond the mountains. Their wisewoman, Ira Hath, and also mother of the protagonist, Bowman, is slowly dying as her prophecy comes true – that she will lead them to the ‘homeland’ but that she will not live to enjoy it herself. At the same time, the ‘child of the prophecy’, Bowman, is preparing to be found and taken by the Singer people to help ‘purge’ the land from the confusion and evil that overruns it from a harsh and wicked ruler. Kestrel, Bowman’s twin sister, with whom he can talk telepathically as well as share emotions feels like her job is not yet done and that her fate will take her beyond what either her or Bowman thought. There are complex relationships between the characters and happenings that test both the strength of the Manth as a ‘people’ as well as testing individuals. Kestrel and Bowman go off to learn of the ‘Singer’ people… but only one returns to the Homeland.
The story goes on, past near death experiences, through a desert, snowstorm and finally, up the mountain, leading them with a final twist to the homeland.
This book was a bit confusing for me. It took me almost until the 70th page to finally get into the story, and when I did, it never seemed to lift off the ground. The plot didn’t seem ‘real’ and the characters were unrelateable and a bit ‘wooden’, their emotions explained but never felt by the reader. For all the good reviews on Goodreads, I was disappointed by this book and don’t think I will do the trouble to read the first two. That said, maybe that is the problem, that I was not ‘in’ the story by reading the first two.
One star for this read. *