Review – Mistress of the Storm by M L Welsh

Today we hear from Bookbabbler Dwayne..

Mistress of the Storm – ML Welsh

Verity Gallant knows she’ll never be as pretty and popular as Poppy, her perfect little sister – she doesn’t quite fit in. But when a mysterious stranger hands her an ancient red book, everything changes. Verity becomes embroiled in a tale of dark magic and intrigue; she uncovers old rivalries and discovers new friends. Together, she, Henry and Martha explore the secrets stirring in the ancient harbour town of Wellow. But what will it take to stop a powerful witch hell-bent on revenge?

Mistress of the Storm is the perfect read for younger teens who enjoy a hearty dose of mystery and for those who are transitioning from children’s book to young adult novels. Set in the small town of Wellow, Mistress of the storm follows the events of Verity Gallant’s life following the day she finds a mysterious man handing her a red book.

The book is generally presented in three parts. I found the first part to be about introductions. The book spends a good number of pages introducing characters with importance to the plot. It was disorienting with so many characters being simultaneously presented, but as the book progresses one begins to understand their role better. More questions about the mystery is added here than answers. The combined effect was for me, a little confusing, but it does get better as the book progresses. The middle part reveals the history and the more magical side to the book. The thrill increases, and the characters undergo a lot more changes and interact more with each other. The third and final part is where the action occurs. I liked it particularly because this is where everything is unraveled and all questions are answered. It has elements of folklore, magic and the general theme of good against evil, which is what really led me to believe that Mistress of the Storm is a particularly good book for younger teens. It is still rooted in the magic that kids adore in children’s book, but with a more edgy, more mature side that makes it close to a young adult book.

The characters in this book are well portrayed. Verity isn’t a particularly strong girl – she does not seem to stand up to bullies and keeps to herself; but her flaws gives her the best platform to mature and her strength and courage becomes clear at the end of the book. It was easy to symphatise with her and feel outraged with the antagonists. I feel it will appeal even more to children as they will relate easily to the many colourful characters. All of the important characters were given their resolutions, one I feel strongly about. It shows how the book is neatly outlined. There were little surprises in this book, none of which are big twists in themselves. I must admit there were times where I felt the narrative dragged and could just have gone straight to the point. I am also partly unsure that some of the characters are particularly important. Not that I mind them being in the book, I simply think it could have done with less. Nonetheless, characters give this book variety so they do seem to have their purpose at least.

To those who’d enjoy mystery with a hint of magic, Mistress of the Storm is the book for you!

Thanks, Dwayne, and thanks to Melanie Welsh for sending us a copy. It’s in our shop now.