Synopsis from the back of the book:
Starjik! Whisper his name and it was winter in your heart. No one sees Starjik and his hungry wolves when they come in the dead of the night, but always a child is missing in the morning. Who can rid the land of this curse and melt the fear in its people’s hearts? Only Ivan, who loves his little brother enough to follow him through many dangers to Starjik’s cavern.
The reason I picked up this book was because I had heard a lot about the author; Robert Swindells, and I was interested in reading something by him. So I was kindly leant this book, and I gave it a shot.
This book tells the journey of Ivan, a young boy that loves his brother dearly. When his brother is taken from the village by the mysterious and widely feared Starjik, Ivan resolves to do something about it. With just some bread to keep him from going hungry, and his fur parka to keep him from going cold, he sets out on a perilous journey through the icy winds to rescue his brother.
This book is obviously aimed at the younger age bracket of readers, so it wasn’t my usual type of read. Despite this, I found myself to be enjoying it. Because it was such a light read, at only a mere 91 pages, the story flowed well, and kept me turning the pages. Swindells manages to write a story full of love and adventure, which compels the reader to follow Ivan whole-heartedly in his journey. Battling through the freezing cold and snow-storms, Ivan encounters many obstacles on his rescue mission. From hungry wolves, to the illusions weaved by Starjik, that make Ivan confused and lost, Ivan has to pull himself together in time to rescue his brother. Ivan will need all the help he can get, and when an unexpected ally is there in the snow to help him, not everything seems lost.
Will Ivan make it through the wind and the cold and arrive at Starjik’s cavern in time to save his brother? Take a plunge through the icy shadows, and see for yourself what awaits.
I would recommend this to younger readers, who enjoy an adventure.