‘The Company Of Eight,’ by Harriet Whitehorn, cover by Maria Surducan.

This stellar adventure is packed with pirates, circus boats and far-flung islands. In fact, everything you need for a thrilling read!


Cass dreams of a life aboard Ravellous’s circus boat, making her living as an acrobat. With plans to audition when the boat arrives at Minaris, Cass is confident that a life of adventure awaits her.  She may well be right, but perhaps not in the way which she had imagined.

Interfering adoptive mothers, the Palace Ship and a kidnapping steer Cass’s life down another path. One which does not run smooth.

I absolutely loved the heady mix of exotic characters and locations represented in this story.  In Cass, there’s a heroine you can root for throughout and who you know won’t let you down.  The pirates are, frankly, terrifying and the pampered lords and ladies more scheming than mimsy.  Who can be trusted?

I am delighted to have a guest post from author Harriet Whitehorn, talking about the inspirations behind the unique world-building in ‘The Company Of Eight.’

When I’m planning a story I try to remember what I particularly loved as a child, and also think about what really engages my own children and their friends.   Minaris was inspired by my own obsession when I was young with ice skating.  One of my favourite daydreams aged eight, was that I lived in a sort of Victorian/ Georgian world where you skated everywhere rather than walked.  So The Longest World grew from there, taking on snippets of places that I have been to.  And I think everyone loves the idea of island hopping on boats in the sunshine!  

In terms of Ravellous’s circus I was influenced both by Giffords, who are an old-fashioned style circus, and also Cirque du Soleil.  I spent a good deal of time watching clips of acrobats on YouTube too!   Then the idea for the Island of Women partly came from a  short story by Daphne du Maurier that I read years ago, which I think was called Monte Verita, about a mysterious colony of women in the mountains.  

Fascinating, and proof it’s worth remembering your childhood daydreams.

A swash-buckling, sea-faring adventure for readers aged 9+

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Stripes Books for sending me this title to review and inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Make sure you visit some of the other stops for further exclusive insights*


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