The Kiss of the Blue Howler


FANTASY:  Zephyr is unable to speak, and can only communicate through the Thought Energy pictures she creates. She projects her loneliness from a cliff's edge, and a Blue Howler responds to her plea.  The creature of the wind transports her to Istish, a magical world underneath her own.  Xerai is the Prince of Istish and possesses the gift of instincts. Zephyr has craved a sense of belonging and feels it with Xerai. Together they form a bond that will be put to the test  when their very existence is threatened by a deadly enemy.


Author Victoria Bastedo has created a fantastical underworld with the land of Istish.  The scenic descriptions are beautifully detailed — Ms. Bastedo uses images readers will be familiar with to create a brand new world to envision.  The characters are richly drawn and their growth throughout the novel is beautifully developed.  The beginning of the novel was confusing, as the reader is thrown into the world of Istish without any explanation, just as happens to Zephyr. In later chapters it is explained, and the novel clicks into place.  The final chapter deviates from all others as it jumps three weeks ahead in one sentence, which takes away from the beautiful richness of the story, only to have it hurried along at a crucial point.  The novel is a great read for those who want to lose one’s self in another world.


Laura Dinsdale