Erkenwald is under the rule of the Ice Queen, who has divided the tribes and is consuming the voices of the people in an attempt to gain immortality. She also has a special prisoner- a young girl called Eska whose voice the Ice Queen longs to possess.
Flint is a young boy from the Fur tribe. In an attempt to free his mother from the Ice Queen's fortress, he finds and frees Eska. Together with Flint's young sister, Blu, and with the help of the wild, they set off on a quest to find the legendary Frost Horn that will free the people of Erkenwald and end the Ice Queen's reign.
This is such a magical book! Beautifully written, the story is a classic quest, full of adventure and overcoming adversity. Our Year 6's were completely gripped by the story and were really inspired to do work based around the book.
One of the story's main strengths is the wonderful development of characterisation. Eska is a captivating heroine- honest, brave, loyal and in tune with nature, she stands true to all she believes in, yet is vulnerable as she craves acceptance. Flint seeks approval from his tribe as his talents are not in line with being a warrior; his inventor skills are not valued. He is sensitive and kind- and shows genuine emotion, particularly when caring for his younger sibling, Blu. Fiesty, loving and loyal, Blu is honest and wilful- and completely endearing. Pebble- the fox-cub- is also a masterful creation!
The world of Erkenwald is beautifully developed and described and reading Ali's notes about how she created her world really inspired my children to choose place names with great care and describe their own lands in great detail.
This is a story of hope and love which champions tolerance and acceptance. It is a story about being yourself and accepting who you are. It is a story about standing up to evil and having the courage to do right when it seems all the odds are stacked against you. It is a story to be enjoyed and shared.
Sky Song Abi Elphinstone, cover illustration by Daniela Terrazzini
Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1471146077
You can read another review of Sky Song here.