Monday, 11 December 2017

The Silkie by Sandra Horn

ISBN 978-1-909568-10-5
Expected readership: children aged seven and upwards
Length: 40 pages

Reviewer: Lynne Garner

I’d heard of the legends that involved something called a Silkie and knew they were mythological creatures that could be found in Irish, Scottish, Faroese, and Icelandic folklore. However, I’d never read a story that featured them. So, when I was introduced to this book I knew it was one I should read.

I loved the rustic, wild setting of the story and this is portrayed well by the author. Her descriptions really bring the landscape alive, for example: "

... and the houses crouch behind the sea wall ..." 

You can just see them, protected from the wild seas that must batter them in winter.


"Meanwhile, up on the hill, the sinking moon was casting a shadow so tall it almost touched the evening star."

I’ve never read an original version of this story, if there is such a thing, as I assume this story is part of a long oral tradition. So, I don’t know how close to the original telling it is. However, I don’t think that matters. It’s a lovely modern retelling of a traditional story that still contains the feel of its traditional roots.

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