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The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery

Title: The Chime Seekers

A boy and girl stand in front of a tower. There is a changeling on the boy's back, and a signpost with a red hat next to the girl. A sign reads welcome to Hallow Fall in one corner with a fishing frog near it. The image is surrounded by trees and toadstools.

Author: Ross Montgomery

Genre: Magical Realism

Publisher: Walker Books

Published: 3rd November 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Price: $18.99

Synopsis: From the Costa-shortlisted and critically acclaimed author of the bestselling The Midnight Guardians comes a middle-grade fantasy adventure about siblings, courage and the magic that hides in the cracks.

Step into a world of faerie tricks and hidden danger… When an evil faerie steals Yanni’s baby sister and swaps her for a Changeling, Yanni is swept into a dangerous race against time to get her back. For faeries delight in tricks and rescuing her won’t be easy. With the help of his cousin, Amy, and the reluctant Changeling, Yanni must travel to goblin palaces and battle-swept oceans, discovering ancient treasures and secrets along the way. Yanni will need every drop of courage and even a few tricks of his own, if he’s to outwit the faerie and save his sister…

  • The magical world of British folklore comes to life in this contemporary fantasy novel, bursting with Ross’s trademark charm, humour and warmth, and with a sibling and family relationship at its heart.
  • With the classic feel of Emma Carroll, the magic of Piers Torday, and echoes of David Bowie’s LabryinthThe Chime Seekers firmly establishes Ross as one of the greats of children’s literature.
  • Ross Montgomery is one of the most popular and hardworking authors in children’s books – his many fans include Kiran Millwood Hargrave, David Solomons and Katharine Rundell, not to mention the army of librarians and booksellers across the country.

~*~

Yanni hates Hallow Fall and the new home he has moved into with his parents and baby sister, Ari. There are no kids around and everything looks dismal. When his parents go out on Halloween and leave Yanni and his cousin Amy in charge of Ari, Yanni inadvertently allows a faery into the house, and soon finds a changeling in her place. So Yanni sets off to Hallow Fall to find his sister and face the faery, Lorde Renwin, who has collected lots of magic over the centuries. Yanni is set three tasks – and if he completes them and outwits Lord Renwin, he can get his sister back. Joined by the changeling, Larry, Yanni learns about the faery world as he ventures through and completes seemingly impossible tasks – yet the threat of being trapped in Hallow Fall remains – and Yanni is running out of time.

The Chime Seekers, set around Halloween, is a fantastic story filled with faery lore and folklore tradition – mostly British and Irish, but Yanni’s Greek heritage plays a part, with his mati from his grandmother a key tool in his quest, protecting him from the evil around him. This all comes together neatly, and shows that unity, love, family, and friendship are more powerful than anything else – especially a faery like Lorde Renwin, who is so power hungry, he will do anything to keep his power. And Amy, who uses a game she plays to guide them, makes sure that Yanni understands the rules of dealing with faeries and faery world. This brings the book to life and creates engaging characters who leap off the page.

The changeling, Larry, is quite the character too, and comes to life throughout the novel, especially once Yanni gives him a name and starts including him – showing Yanni that it is okay to open up to people and share his parents with Ari. It is a  brilliant quest story, and one that is perfect for this time of year, as it evokes a sense of spookiness without being too scary like some books set around Halloween can be – and allows kids to explore a world that is magical and unique whilst still trying to solve a quest and save someone in danger. A wonderful story for middle grade fantasy lovers.

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