Review Blog

Dec 14 2008

The dust devils by Sean Williams

cover image

Angus and Robertson, 2008.
(Ages 11+) Recommended. The second in the Broken Land series, The dust devils continues the story of Ros, a young desert traveller, in his quest to release Adi, whose spirit has become detached from her body. Following her disembodied voice and trying to catch up with her people's caravan, Ros crosses the dry desolate landscape, where dangers lurk from sand bandits and the wicked Bee Witch.
Williams is a wonderful story teller. He has created a harsh, wild setting that is a perfect background for his story of survival against the odds. The reader can clearly picture the desolate countryside and vicariously experience the difficulty of staying alive in a desert. The Weird, a strange and awful place from which travellers rarely return, is a wonderful invention.
This novel is peopled with believable characters, both good and bad. Ros grows in power and self belief. The sand bandit chief is terrifying and Adi's forlorn voice is haunting.
A short section at the beginning of the novel giving a basic background to the first novel is a useful device to remind the reader of what happened in the first of the series, The changeling. However it would be beneficial to both enjoyment and understanding to read the books in the correct order.
This is quality fantasy that left me waiting for the final in the series.
Pat Pledger

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