Book Review: THE STORM KEEPER’S ISLAND by Catherine Doyle (Middle Grade Monday)

The Storm Keeper's Island
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book in trilogy


the storm keeper's island

When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet …

Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn’s grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise.

But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island’s next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THE STORM KEEPER’S ISLAND is a steady adventure full of intriguing magic. It’s not a rapidly paced book, but the ebb and flow of action mimics the sea and settles the reader in to the time-based magic.

There was a surreal air to this book, from the island’s subtle scenic changes to the weather. Considering the island in question is a real one (one presumes without the magic in real life, but who knows…), the dreamlike, slightly off-kilter feel helped reinforce the idea that this island did not fit in our world, but was part of another world rudely squeezed into ours.

I loved the candle magic, how time can be trapped inside candles. When burnt, they transport the bearer to the time the candle was captured. Not only were they used so cleverly around the climax, but it was also an engaging way to present the necessary backstory without someone simply telling the story to Fionn. The ending hinted that the magic will be expanded in later books, taken from the candles and brought into everyday life in new ways.

Fionn is very insular during the story. He has his grandfather, but no one his own age. He and his sister don’t get along, Bartley is an antagonistic force and Shelby (Bartley’s sister) is hardly in the story. I thought Shelby and Fionn might become friends, and their meeting gave them shared interests, but Shelby tags along after her brother even though she thinks him half a fool. I would have liked to see him interact with children his own age in a more positive way, and to build up that camaraderie to give the story a bit more depth in its relationships. Hopefully in the next book this will happen.

I’m excited to see where the story goes next as the second book is already out.

Read my reviews of other books by Catherine Doyle:

Middle Grade:

Storm Keeper (this series):


Young Adult (With Katherine Webber):

Twin Crowns:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s