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Whistlers in the Dark by Victoria Williamson - Review and Blog Tour

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Hello and welcome to my stop on the tour ofr Whistlers in the Dark by Victoria Williamson! It is nice to welcome you to my blog today. Please do have a click around and read some of my other reviews. This is my second Victoria Williamson book and I really liked it too! You can find my review of Norah's Ark here. 

So this book is set in the second century AD, in what is now Scotland. Jinny is from the Damnonii tribe, who are native to the area. The area has been colonised by the Romans, who have built the Antonine Wall across the land, meaning the Damnonii can't graze their cattle on land they still see as theirs. Jinny is twelve years old and angry about the situation. Before the beginning of the book, something happened that hurt Jinny's brother and she blames Felix, a Roman boy, because it's easier that blaming herself. She was partly blamed, though, and she wasn't allowed to partake in the coming of age ceremony alongside the other girls in the tribe her own age, who were allowed. She's still given child's chores, because of that, and she's steaming mad about it. 

Felix, meanwhile, is half Damnonii. His dad is Roman and he's been sent up north with his soldiers in order to map the land up there. He's been gone ages though and everyone is beginning to think he's dead. That threatens Felix's place in the fort, because of his Damnonii mother (now dead) and the fact he's not a 'pure' Roman. He has acted as translator between the Damnonii and the Romans (the 'metal men' as Jinny calls them) which resulted in Jinny's brother's accident. Bram and Felix had been friends before, but since the accident Felix has avoided Bram and the tribe.

One day, Jinny sees Felix and, still angry with him, chases him in to the sacred stone circle that the tribe has. She fires a stone at him, but ends up damaging one of the stones. She then believes she has woken the stones and that they are walking across fields to come and get her. Then four people from the local area go missing - which Jinny thinks is further proof that she has woken the stones. 

The two have to work together to sort all of this out! It's a really good book, fast paced with a lot of peril involved. I liked both Felix and Jinny and wanted them both to succeed. I really liked the setting and could picture it perfectly, even though it felt like the story was modern and that any kid would empathise with what was happening. I liked the bits of history I leant - I didn't know there was a wall other than Hadrian's Wall! So it taught me something too. I'm giving this four out of five and would thoroughly recommend it!

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