As an avid reader, I have high expectations on books to engage me, interest me and make those emotional connections that will keep the book as a fond memory after reading. Ross Montgomery has done all of those things with The Midnight Guardians. It has the classic feel of Narnia, the historical adventure in WWII and characters who leap off the page and into your heart.
At first we meet three characters sat waiting in an abandoned house, in the attic. They are waiting for Col, “the only hope we have”. There is a 4ft knight in shining armour, a badger wearing a waistcoat and smoking a pipe, and a Bengal tiger. Not out of place in a child’s imagination, we have yet to learn who Col is and why he is the only one to save them.
Meeting Col, a boy of 12 comes next. He has been evacuated to live with his Aunt as London is being bombed nightly. His father has recently passed away and his older sister still lives and works in London. Col is excited as his sister is coming from London to spend Christmas in their cottage not far from his Aunt’s house. When he gets the news she is not coming Col runs away to the cottage.
Hearing voices coming from the attic upon his arrival, Col comes face to face with the characters he has played with so often as a child. The knight, badger and tiger have been waiting for this moment. Now, they are more alive than ever and they need his help to save London.
What follows is what can only be described as a epic adventure of Narnia proportions. The Midwinter King is set to destroy the Green Man in the Spirit World and this will have huge implications on the human world. Once Col has been convinced that this is outside his imagination, he is keen to save London, the spirit world and most importantly, his sister.
Enchanted trees try to stop their progress, salt counting fairies capture them and giants argue over everything! This trip to London is not straightforward or lacking danger but the team must work together to arrive safely and in time.
An utterly beguiling tale, historically accurate and full of emotion, not to mention how exquisitely it all tumbles onto the page as though straight out of a young boy’s imagination.