________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 2 . . . . September 12, 2008

cover Storm. (Triskelia Book 3).

Carrie Mac.
Toronto, ON: Penguin Canada, 2008.
290 pp., hardcover, $25.00.
ISBN 978-0-670-06602-5.

Grades 7-11 / Ages 12-16.

Review by Ann Ketcheson.

**** /4

Reviewed from Uncorrected and Unpublished Proofs.

excerpt:

The moon, fat and sluggish behind the storm clouds, cast a dull pallor over the Key. From up that high, the warring armies below resembled opposing tides, each pulling with it an entire ocean as it surged forward and fell back, volleying for dominance. Each sea was thousands strong and swelled with its own momentum: from the north, the blue uniforms of the Guard, practised and afraid; from the south, the pell-mell of the rebellion, disorganized and furious. And on both sides, adrenalin tainted the waters, whipping every fighter into a mad frenzy.

The rain beat down hard on Guardies and rebels alike. Thick mud sucked at boots, tripped BAT boys as they wrestled Guardies to the ground, splattered down with every blast of cannon. The storm washed over bewildered Guardies as they spun, guns raised, out of bullets, looking for backup, allies, help of any kind. Thunder drowned out the last words of BAT boys as they begged for mercy, looking down the barrel of a Guardy gun. And always the staccato of lashing rain competed with the tattoo of gunfire.

 

Storm is the third and final novel of Carrie Mac's fantasy “Triskelia” trilogy and continues the battle between the Keylanders, once the elite, and the Triskelians, a rebel group whose aim is to overthrow their oppressors. Sabine is the well-liked and respected Triskelian leader who hopes to liberate her people. Her brother Seth is willing to support her with his army of young soldiers, but there are times when his loyalty seems questionable. Has he made deals behind his sister's back? Eli, the third sibling, has always seemed too passive and quiet to have a vital role in the battle, and yet he accomplishes what the others perhaps could not as he attempts to find some sort of peaceful resolution to the conflict.

      The basic characters of the three siblings remain essentially as they have been throughout the series, and yet readers are aware that all three have matured and developed within the time span of the trilogy. Although minor characters are plentiful, few of them really come to life. Instead, they serve as a good supporting cast for the main protagonists.

      The title of the novel is apt, describing not only the details of war but also the personal struggles among the characters. Nothing in the novel proceeds easily or quietly. Once again, Mac's forte is pushing the reader into the midst of the sights, sounds and smells of a devastating battle. One is swept along easily, and the action is reminiscent of an epic film with hundreds of soldiers ready to fight to the death, guns blazing.

      This excitement, vivid detail and fast pace will keep readers turning the pages, and Mac astutely saves some surprises for literally the last few pages of the book. She casts Sabine as a capable young woman, every bit as able as her brothers. Thus the book will appeal to young adult readers of both genders.

      Mac's themes of war, rebellion and retribution are the backbone of the novel, and once again her descriptions are not sugar-coated in any way. This isn't done to shock or titillate but rather to thrust the readers into the reality of the brutal struggle. No doubt there are contemporary war correspondents who have seen similar situations and would appreciate the accurate but gory details.

      Storm has a short but satisfying epilogue which draws this very successful series to a close. All three siblings have learned to accept one another despite their differences, and all seem headed to interesting futures beyond the pages of the book. To paraphrase Mac's final line, the siblings will "gain momentum... let go and fly."

Highly Recommended.

Ann Ketcheson is a retired teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French. She lives in Ottawa, ON, where she has turned her love of travel into a new career as a travel consultant.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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