The Whistlers in the Dark by
Genre: MIddle Grade, historical fantasy
Length: 200 pages
Published: 21st September 2023
Scotland, 158 AD, is a divided country.
On one side of the Antonine Wall, thirteen-year-old Felix is trying to become a good Roman soldier like his father. On the other, twelve-year old Jinny is vowing revenge on the ‘metal men’ who have invaded her Damnonii tribe’s homeland. At the Damnonii’s sacred circle of standing stones, her planned attack on Felix goes badly wrong, awakening a legend that threatens to bring fire and destruction down on them all.
Can Jinny and Felix overcome their differences and soothe the stones back to sleep before it’s too late?
About the Author
Victoria Williamson is an award-winning author who grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills, books, and an historical farm estate which inspired many of her early adventure stories and spooky tales. After studying Physics at the University of Glasgow, she set out on her own real-life adventures, which included teaching maths and science in Cameroon, training teachers in Malawi, teaching English in China and working with children with additional support needs in the UK. Victoria currently works part time writing KS2 books for the education company Twinkl and spends the rest of her time writing novels, and visiting schools, libraries and literary festivals to give author talks and run creative writing workshops.
Victoria’s previous novels include The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind, Hag Storm, and War of the Wind. She has won the Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2020/2021, The YA-aldi Glasgow Secondary School Libraries Book Award 2023, and has been shortlisted for the Week Junior Book Awards 2023, The Leeds Book Awards 2023, the Red Book Award 2023, the James Reckitt Hull Book Awards 2021, The Trinity School Book Awards 2021, and longlisted for the ABA South Coast Book Awards 2023, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020, and the Branford Boase Award 2019.
Her latest novel, The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams, is a middle grade fantasy inspired by classic folklore. Twenty percent of the author royalties for this book are donated to CharChar Literacy, an organisation working to improve children’s literacy levels in Malawi.
You can find out more about Victoria’s books, school visits and free resources for schools on her website: www.strangelymagical.com
First off am going to say Victoria Williamson made me read Whistlers in the Dark which is not normally my bag as it is Historical Fiction but when it has been written by this talented author then all bets are off.
This was not just any Historical Fiction it was entwined with Celtic Mythology and gave it a fantastical feeling and it was haunting. Then you have three wonderful strong main characters of Jinny, Felix and Bram who really bring the story to life and each have their own growth arc throughout the book but my favourite is Bram he's a little cherub.
The last thing I am going to say about the book is it has strong themes of family, knowing where you come from and knowing that actions have consequences amongst others.
For all the above reasons and that Victoria made me cry AGAIN I am giving Whistlers in the Dark 4 stars