Thunderclouds gather, and the fields glare back.
Sun has curled the leaves of the abandoned raspberry canes, and three broody hens stick their noses out to sniff the approaching storm,
before returning to their empty nest.
In the middle of a small country, all is verdant, hushed, still.
Then a passing lorry roars at the crows in the treetop, and they clatter their wings.
And on the wind comes a song of ancient time –
It travels across the land, and calls to me as I sink,
It speaks of wind, and wave, and open sky,
Blue-glass walls spitting their salty spray –
I inhale deeply,
Soon, I think. Soon I shall be with you.
August, to me, has always been the month to head for the sea! Oceans – the sequel to Toxics– arrives as the summer fades. I will post the date it is published for digital or print purchase – here and on my FB page: www.facebook.com/IsabelBurtNovels
Meanwhile, here’s a lovely description of Oceans, in an early review to help you decide…
“Following on from ‘Toxics’, Isabel Burt offers in ‘Oceans’ another rich and absorbing world that quickly draws you in – great for young fantasy lovers!
In ‘Oceans’ we see 18-year-old Felicity return to the Old World after three years back with her family and friends in the modern world. During that time she has yearned to find her way back to her love, Reuben, from whom she was separated underwater at the end of Toxics.
Given the modern setting and introduction to Felicity’s best friend, Al, in the early chapters I was a little unsure as to whether I would be convinced by the Old World again – but Isabel Burt doesn’t disappoint. Once Felicity finds her way back, we are quickly drawn back into a new part of her fantastical and colourful world whose rich character cast is this time dominated by ocean dwelling creatures incuding Thessalons (giant turtles), The Draar-sil (an army of protective sea lions) and the Humb (ill-meaning giant squids) — as well as the dying-out race of the ‘Meshi’ ocean people whose existence had been hidden from Reuben’s Old World.
Makia, the withering and scheming Meshi medicine woman, is portrayed brilliantly as she scuttles and schemes from her sunken sea cave where she holds not only Reuben, but also a lost Meshi princess captive – playing with potions and allowing for some clever tension at the start of the book between Reuben and Felicity. Makia has a pivotal role as the plot develops and is a joy to encounter on the page (if not for real!).
An ever-present threat comes in the form of the lurking GRAI whose menacing soliloquies from the ocean deep open many of the early chapters, foreshadowing the inevitable climax of the book in which darkness descends (literally) on the Old World. Gradually it becomes clear that Reuben, Felicity and their immediate team have been thrown together to try to understand and save the Old World from this dark force.
Whether they succeed is for you to find out!” Karen Inglis, author of The Secret Lake