Monday, October 23, 2006

The Secret of the Sirens - Julia Golding

Julia Golding's The Secret of the Sirens is the first in a series of four books, the Companions Quartet.

When 10 year old Connie is sent to live with her aunt Evelyn, shes convinces this is going to be just one more place where she doesn't fit in. However she soon discovers she's wrong as the seaside town of Hescombe is full of adults and children who have strange links to creatures and animals, just as Connie does. She learns that Hescombe is the heart of a secret Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures, a group of people who have sworn to ensure that mythical beasts such as dragons, Pegasi, water sprites, etc., are kept safe. Normally the creatures and their chosen humans (Companions) work in harmony. But something abnormal has been happening in Hescombe. The Sirens, who have kept their deadly song to themselves for generations, are once again luring humans to their deaths. It doesn't take long for Connie to realise that the victims are oil workers at the new Axoil refinery. The Sirens are fed-up with their seas being polluted, but should the Society protect the Sirens or the men working for the oil refinery ? Connie doesn't think she has a role to play, until it becomes clear that she's a Universal Companion - the first in over a century, a Companion who can communicate with every type of beast on earth, in the water or in the air. Her power is immense. Unfortunately though, her power makes her more susceptible to the power of another Universal Companion who went to the "dark side" and he's heard about Connie, so he's coming back to Hescombe. And he'll use any means he can, be it violence or the power of the terrifying Storm Giants, to turn Connie to the dark side with him.

This book is somewhat more didactic and less assured than Golding's first novel, The Diamond of Drury Lane (which I reviewed here).

Julia Golding has her own website, which includes a non-interactive (ie. you can't leave comments) Blog.


Maxine Clarke said...

My daughter Jenny loved this book. Would not read the Drury Lane one, though! She also recently read the second in the S of S series but I think did not like it as much as the first.

Every year 5/6 girl in our area was reading the first S of S book when it came out -- almost a local HP (Harry Potter) phenomenon.

Michele said...

It's a shame that Jenny wouldn't read "Diamond" - it's a great little book. Perhaps she's not into historical stories, though ? The Cat Royal stories are definitely more on the historical than the fantastical side...

How funny that you had a HP-style phenomenon with the first Sirens book !

(I'm still waiting for the library to get me book 2 in both series... *sigh* !)

Little Willow said...

Sounds cute.

Thank you SO MUCH for Mandy Watt - and autographed?! My gracious! Thank you! :)

Michele said...

LW, you're very welcome ! I'm glad to know it arrived safely !