This is the first book by author Katherine Rundell, and as such I did not really know what to expect. The blurb introduces us directly to Wilhelmina Silver, painting a picture of a rampageous, feisty protagonist. And she turns out to be just that!
I’ll be honest, there was one element of the book which irked me. I didn’t enjoy the way some Shona vocabulary was explained, as I felt it was quite patronising and unnecessary. On saying that however, the book wasn’t written for my demographic (rapidly approaching 40), so perhaps this wouldn’t irritate the target readership. Also, I felt that the characters were so powerfully depicted that there was no need to overtly clarify the meaning of their speech; the meaning was unmistakable due to incredible characterisation from Rundell. So you see, my only criticism has a silver lining!
Will’s journey is a roller coaster, both physically and emotionally. This stunning young girl is ripped away from all that she knows and is transplanted into an alien-like world. An adult would flounder and more than likely fail, but the stamina of Will is such that her floundering only makes her ability to survive stronger. She is a true heroine; courageous, proud and fiercely independent.
I am pleased to say that Katherine Rundell is currently writing a second novel. If this is the quality of her first, then I look forward to seeing what the second one will bring.