The Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth, I found, was difficult to get into because of the dialogue of the characters. It slowed the story down and I found it distracting. But once I got used to the way they spoke and the strange names of the creatures, the story picked up and improved from there.
The story is a classic quest. Five children (aged around 12 to 15 years of age) from different backgrounds, ranging from princess to thief, are brought together for a common cause; although some characters are rather reluctant but they don’t have much of a choice. They are joined by an old man, who isn’t all he seems, and their journey takes them across the most dangerous terrain they can imagine. There are soldiers on foot and on flying birds chasing them; gibgoblins, sprites, wildkin and other creatures prepared to kill them as look at them and a woman of the Crafty they must find before time runs out and the princess’s brother dies.
The poor children are faced with horrors that would curl your toes and they must get over differences that we adults can’t seem to do ourselves. There is a lot of action, but there’s always time for a fed after a long day of journeying, fighting, arguing, and just generally running for their lives. There’s some good humour, lots of great scenery, moments of sadness that will bring a lump to your throat and even a touch of romance. As far as I know, The Starthorn Tree is a stand alone book, which means there are no other books with these characters in it. And as all good books should, it left me feeling satisfied with an ending that gave a hint of what would happen in the future for the characters and how their journey had changed their lives.
Apart from the unsettled beginning, I found this book to be a good read – interesting, exciting and it manages to draw you in. I certainly would pick up another book written by the same author.