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I listened to the audiobook of this novel via audible and I am so glad I chose to spend December's credit on it! The American narrator does her absolute best with the English and Scottish accents, though being a Brit myself it took me a while to get used to her BBC style pronunciation. The character's voices are well delivered and it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to hear the story told.
As for the story itself, I was thrilled from start to finish by the fast paced action set in a cleverly crafted world of Celtic mythology. Angela J. Townsend has taken familiar and favourite fantasy concepts and reworked them into her own version of Scots myth that is inventive and totally enthralling. The story constantly keeps you guessing as to what Angus is going to uncover next and there was never a dull moment in the whole journey.
The character I enjoyed the most was Fane. He is enigmatic and charming, perfectly filling the role of the exposition character with whimsy and amusement. Every time he re-emerged into the story I was thrilled to see him and he never let me down for entertainment value. Also fabulous was Vanora, an uppity girl who befriends Angus right from the off and sticks by him with a thirst for adventure. She was an excellent addition to the plot and their affection for each other was endearing and sweet.
Angus himself holds a special place in my heart because he is not a perfect hero by any means. He is a sweet boy who's well aware of his faults and being privy to his innermost fears was heartbreaking and wonderful to read. Out of character for me, actually, to get teary over books, but in the last two chapters of the tale I really found myself choking back a little sob because I had connected so much with him during the story.
My only regret is that there isn't another book to carry straight on with, although this tale was wrapped up perfectly at the end to keep you satisfied as you wait for more. If you're a fan of Harry Potter then the spirit of this book will definitely enthral you, though I dare say it's a much faster ride to enjoy and the Celtic flavour gives it a cultural value that I would prize far higher than 'The Philosopher's Stone'. In terms of a first book in a series, I enjoyed Angus MacBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings more than Harry Potter, so when Angela J. Townsend continues this series I can only anticipate with glee how much more fabulous it can get!