Book Two. Descending into the ancient world of Fal, Ayla discovers she can conjure storms ...
The Ayla Trilogy
Prologue from audiobook, read by Luke Griffin
Back in the claustrophobic tunnels of the defeated Red Root King ...
Ayla and her friends travel further from home and deeper into the strange and ancient world of Fal. The chase leads them through a land of ever-deepening magic, populated with characters bizarre and beautiful, wondrous and dangerous. It leads them to the Old Ones, where Ayla’s newfound powers are greeted with fear and trepidation. They will meet allies and enemies, old and new, with the lines blurred between friend and foe. Battles spiral into war, and not everyone will fall on the same side…
fast-paced … atmospheric … one for fans of fantasy and magic, rooted in Irish mythology and otherworldliness. Fans of Percy Jackson should enjoy this
magical and compelling, full of darkness and a deeply satisfying mythological depth. Matt Griffin’s striking black and white illustrations evoke and enhance the strangeness of his gripping tale
this book has a fairy-tale quality and pulls on ancient Irish tales giving the story structure and depth. The ending is open-ended and obvious that it will be continued but this does not lessen its appeal. It is tense, chilling and gripping, full of mystery with a good balance between descriptive text and action sequences, and explores the familiar avenues of friendship and loyalty. A good book for confident readers aged 10 – 12 years, it will also appeal to teenagers and lovers of magical fantasy
It taught me things I didn't know about Irish mythology, had brilliant battle scenes ( I LOVE battles!) and amazing adventures ... All of this, plus illustrations, crammed into a single 250 page novel … perfect page-turner
Deftly paced, rigorously edited and fluidly written, Storm Weaver is embroidered with precise, evocative descriptions
This is an engrossing, vivid and taut episode culminating in a heroic battle scene…
An essential part of the novel are the haunting charcoal images at the start of each chapter, which underscore the storytelling and which were created by the author, who as these striking images attest is a highly regarded graphic artist and illustrator
there’s something of the Lord of the Rings about the massing of ancient armies and the questing at the bidding of unknown powers, as well as an ambiguity about where the loyalties of some of the characters lie … this is a series stamped with a strong Irish identity. But the familiar myths and legends which are always just between the surface in Irish storytelling have been intertwined here with a vibrant modern twist that will ensnare 21st century readers, pulling them back to their mythological roots
Matt Griffin's fantasy creation … lies at the very darkest edge of fairy tale … It is a place not of nursery story but of nightmare, not of Tir Na Nog, but of an 'other' magical pre Ireland where life literally withers away after forbidden return. Yet his creation and his narrative are all the more resonant and potent, and indeed all the more terrifying, for their link to the tropes and archetypes of ancient tales. One of the particular strengths of Matt Griffin's narrative is placing within this dark fairy tale context a quartet of young protagonists who are fully contemporary in their language and outlook. They are every inch kids of today, clever, lippy, streetwise. These are certainly no Pevensie children, stumbling with wide eyed wonder into Narnia … [A] Cage of Roots [is] a gripping and powerful read, a potent and imaginative refreshing of many of the tropes and themes of great children's fantasy - with more than a touch of darkness thrillingly added. And of course that wonderful whack of Irishness. Matt Griffin uses very effectively … some of the classic fiction techniques: starting in mid action, interweaving split narratives. It is most skillful writing in any terms - and, as an authorial debut, exceptional. His already much admired artist's imagination, together with its expertly crafted realisation, clearly transfers readily into his writing. Often in trilogies/quartets, second books can drop off a little in quality. But not so here. Storm Weaver, as much a continuation as a sequel, fully maintains the momentum and visceral excitement of the first book … From the ending, it is clear that this sequence is not yet complete - a cause for eager, indeed impatient, anticipation. Assuming that any forthcoming completion will be as good as the first books (and there is every encouragement here to think so) then this will be a very fine and important addition to the cannon of quality children's fantasy literature. Matt Griffin provides his own art work and the simple but darkly elegant covers and strong, menacing illustrations make these books stunning packages in their own right as well complementing the text superbly. It is a shame there are, at present, no hardback editions to collect for posterity, but surely this sequence will soon get the US publication it well merits, and hopefully then
the book ends with one battle just over, and the promise of another one about to start. But that’s going to be in book three – I CAN’T WAIT! … a great story – for ten-year-olds, young teenagers and adults
the series that began with Matt Griffin’s impressive and imaginative debut Cage of Roots continues in Storm Weaver … It’s exciting and exhilarating stuff, both the dangers of the underworld and the trials the children face equally well described … While there are lots of fantasy adventures that pit young children against monsters from other worlds, few have the integrity of this story, which draws deeply and very successfully from Irish myth and legend. The emergence of our four young people as heroes is stirring stuff and there’s a real sense of danger throughout, the possibility that one of them will die in this battle is ever present. This is an original, intelligent and enthralling fantasy adventure. The author’s eerie black and white illustrations add to the mood.
I think this was a really good book, the best one I’ve read in a long time
this will keep you on the edge of your seat ... Stunning (about A Cage of Roots)
the magical adventure that began so explosively with A Cage of Roots continues in this equally gripping new episode … setting and adversaries are thrillingly described, a seam of real myth and legend giving the story extra depth. Matt Griffin’s atmospheric black and white illustrations add to the mood
a mesmerising story that has the reader pondering throughout on who can be trusted and who is the enemy. Atmospheric drawings are the perfect complement to the story and it's good to see illustrations in a book for this age group - it should help even reluctant readers to take an interest. An excellent read, full of darkness and mystery - a real page-turner
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney
Also by Matt Griffin: