Heart of Stone
Publisher: David Fickling
The continuation of Verity Gallant’s story, begun in Mistress of the Storm, sees the ancient harbour town of Wellow once more under siege from the witch sisters who are Keepers of the Elements. Verity is a tomboy, but we also see the beginnings of a romantic interest, presumably to be pursued in the two projected sequels.
Welsh bases her setting on an amalgam between Ventnor and Southwold, set in an indefinable time which is both like our own, but not linked to it specifically.
Family, class, identity, inheritance and conflicted loyalty are major issues underpinning the magic realism narrative, providing a greater depth than might be expected. Echoes of Ransome, Rowling, Aiken and Blyton offer absorbing, exciting and unusual reading.