Because Ellen Renner’s Storm Witch had resonated so deep within me, and the memory of it had stayed, I was cautious as I began reading the sequel, Under Earth, in case it wouldn’t deliver. But of course it did! Please bring on book three, The Drowned Ones, as soon as possible.
Storm is now the Weather-witch, and more powerful than most, and more than she herself understands. Travelling on her uncle’s ship, they are heading for Bellum Island to trade. But it seems it’s not just goods that can be traded; Storm is also desirable to others, because of her powers, so is not safe among the kind of people who will stop at nothing.
As with the first book, this didn’t head in the direction I imagined, nor did it keep going the way I thought it would. She’s only 14, but has to be wise beyond her years if her own island and its people are to survive. But she also wants revenge for the death of her mother.
Bellum is another world compared to Yanlin, and the people live differently there. At times I was wondering if Ellen was describing the island she and I inhabit when she talked about the wasteful and discriminatory way the leaders of Bellum govern. The fact that they don’t ‘make.’
Storm finds it hard to know what to do, and who to trust, but she at least has a few people to guide her. Let’s hope that will be enough. It doesn’t look like book three will involve much plain sailing.