I was such a huge fan of The Mask of Aribella, Anna Hoghton’s debut, that when I first spotted a second title from her, I knew I would love it!
Orla and the Wild Hunt has a folktale feel about it, one I can imagine being shared round a fire all the while watching out for the fae! Orla and Apollo are visiting their Gran in Ireland while their Dad goes on holiday with his new fiancée. They have begged to come see Gran as they haven’t spent much time with her since their mum passed away.
Orla is angry and hurt by most things at the moment and wants to hurt others as a coping mechanism. She needs time to heal and the past two years without her mother have been difficult. Gran wants to talk about her daughter and Apollo and she have a great bond, but Orla isn’t quite sure how to ask for help or hugs.
When Gran gets taken by The Wild Hunt, Orla and Apollo become embroiled in a mission to find her. Accompanied by a giant, a mysterious boy and a Pooka, their adventure will be a journey of discovery.
Orla will learn that she is not alone in her grief and that she and her brother can overcome anything together. A powerful and gripping story, not just for the adventure and Celtic folklore but for the understanding Orla gains as part of the grieving process. It felt like a cathartic read and could truly help young readers come to terms with a loss in their own lives.