Orphans of the Tide

Written by Struan Murray
Illustrated by Manuel Sumberac
Publishing February 2020 by Puffin Books

This is a heart stopping adventure, fast paced, intense and mysterious.

Ellie is a fearless young inventor following in the footsteps of her brilliant mother. Living in her workshop and fixing mechanical items, she ekes out a living in the last city in the world. As an orphan, she relies on the memories of her mother and brother, both lost to illness some years before.

She has friends in the city, both high ranking and fellow orphans. She will need all her friends to ensure she survives the coming adventure.

The story begins in such a spectacular fashion, really gripping and engaging the reader. Within the first paragraph, you are given this, “That grey morning, once the tide had retreated, a whale was found on a rooftop.” It is from this sentence that the story truly takes off and we meet Ellie, Anna and Seth.

The city is built on a belief that The Enemy, an evil god, can take the body of anyone and use it to destroy and kill. Any sense of The Enemy in the city and a group of Inquisitors are called and the Enemy is killed. When Ellie pulls Seth out of the whale, he is accused of being The Enemy and sentenced to death.

What follows is an incredible story of friendship, adventure and protecting an innocent boy. We learn so much about the characters as the plot unfolds and I was in awe of powerful and focused Ellie. Anna has a quiet yet strong presence for Ellie and Seth is a complete mystery until quite late. Finding and reading a hidden legend, we assume that Seth could be a god.

Escaping Inquisitors, creating a plan to defeat The Enemy and surviving are ingrained into the daily lives of the three main characters. There is never a dull moment, plenty of twists and turns and moments of trying to figure things out but enjoying the mystery!

An immersive and atmospheric book, you will be transported to The City and will fear the Inquisitors while hoping Ellie, Seth and Anna survive the tale.

A wonderful debut and I can highly recommend this!

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