For the review of the first book in the series, A Whisper of Wolves click here.
The second book in the Guardians of the Wilds series centres on Nara, a young whisperer who has received the call to aid the capital from the Narlaw. We also continue to follow Dawn’s struggle of not being taken seriously as the palace whisperer due to her age. Nara lives on the hot plains and her days are very different from Alice’s – the whisperer from the first book. As Nara travels north to help the capital she encounters Tuanne, an untrained whisperer from a nomad tribe. They have to work together to get past the stereotypes they have of each other, and the stigma the tribe had towards whisperers in order to banish the Narlaw that threaten the land.
What I absolutely love about this story is how Humphrey manages to write such different characters. Each of the whisperer girls we have met in this series so far has had a struggle to overcome and how they do so can be applied to real-life situations. Nara becomes teacher to Tuanne, who, though curious, is at first reluctant to accept her whisperer heritage. I do love young people being teachers. What they lack in experience they make up for in sympathy and relatability of having only recently learnt to solve the problem themselves.
My critique of the previous book does not feel relevant for this one. It reads as though he has taken more time to introduce his characters and allows the reader to make connections and observations without talking down to them. Maybe because it is the second in the series- without needing to describe the science of the world he is able to instead devote that description to his new characters.
With new whisperers comes new companions- Flame is Nara’s leopard with red-back monkey Nimbus joining Tuanne. After wolves, big cats are my favourite wild animals, so I enjoyed Nara and Flames interactions. Humphrey manages to capture the animals’ personalities well. Nimbus is skittish and inquisitive while Flame,
in typical cat fashion, is lazy and a bit haughty. Both are fiercely protective of their person though and I can imagine younger readers pretending their soft toys are their very own companions, taking them on adventures in their gardens.
I left this review quite late so I am anticipating the next in the series to be along soon (though there is no news yet!). With so many great role models, I would highly recommend this series to girls. As the characters are from so many different walks of life there will always be someone for the reader to identify with.