The Lost Tide Warriors (Storm Keeper #2), by Catherine Doyle for Timeslip Tuesday

The Lost Tide Warriors, by Catherine Doyle (middle grade, Bloomsbury, January 2020) continues the battle against ancient evil begun in The Storm Keeper's Island, and I enjoyed it even more I did the first book.

The battle against ancient evil had actually begun eons the past of the island of Arranmore (hence the ancient part), when the evil sorceress Morrigan tried to take over the world, and was foiled by the magic of the good and wise Dagda.  Dagda's magic has given the island magical protectors--the Storm Keepers.  Only now, just as Morrigan is rising again, the Storm Keeper is a kid, Fionn, who's only had the job for a few months, who can't reliably tap into his magic.

It's no surprise that many of the islanders aren't convinced Fionn will save them when boatloads of horrifying Soulstalkers start arriving on the island, a creepy nuisance at first, but clearly ready to attack when Morrigan's power is strongest.  

Fionn isn't convinced either.  But he has the magic of the bottled memories his grandfather, the previous Storm Keeper, has safeguarded, and he has a plan. If he can get a hold of a legendary shell, he can blow it to sound a call that will summon the lost tide warriors of the title--the fearsome merrows who live in the ocean around the island.  Finding the shell means travelling back into the past of the island....and putting himself and his two best friends in grave danger. And all the while, to his great sadness and frustration, his grandfather is slipping away...

The things I liked best in the first book--the bottles full of memories, that transport the one who opens them through time to the moment the memories were made, the vivid sense of place, and the warm relationship between Fionn and his grandfather--are all here.  The time travel isn't the point of the book, but certainly plays an important role in helping Fionn figure out what he has to do, and his experiences as a spectator of past events gives depth to the events in the present.

I enjoyed this book more than the first.  I felt in that the first book was in large measure the set-up for great danger to come, and now it has, and it was touch and go to thwart it (there's still plenty of thwarting  left for the next book). In the first book, Fionn's sister was a total pill; here she's still not at all supportive, but a lot less grimly hostile, and is more firmly committed to protecting the island.  And Fionn's relationship with his grandfather is even more tender than it was in book 1.  His mother, also, starts to come into her own as a strong character, and since "mother" is what I myself am, I appreciated this.

So I was gripped, and left satisfied, and can now say with conviction that this is a series I whole-heartedly recommend to young readers who want to read action packed stories about kids finding magical powers and saving the world!

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