Ross Montgomery is one of my favourite middle grade authors – whichever of his books you choose to read, you know you’re not going to be disappointed. But I must warn you that his latest title, ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ is a compulsive, read-past-your-bedtime, adventure.
With bombing raids ravaging London, Col has been evacuated to live with his aunt in the countryside, but his elder sister Rose has stayed in the capital to continue her work as a despatch rider. With Christmas coming, twelve-year-old Col can’t wait to see his sister. But there are dark forces at work, much darker that the Nazi bombings…
When Col’s childhood imaginary friends (a six-foot tiger, a badger, and a miniature knight) come to life, they bring a grave warning – Col’s sister is in danger! Without a second thought, Col and his companions race back to London to rescue her. But the journey is long and the weather is terrible. Little does Col know that this is due to the growing power of the malevolent Midwinter King who is determined to seize power, in both the spirit and physical worlds, and bring eternal darkness.
Soon Col is not only racing to save his sister, but the whole world…
What a read! This tale is a seamless, powerful blend of the magical and the very real. I loved the balance between the world of folklore – with its magical creatures, dark powers and moments of humour – and the bleak desperation of a mid-war Britain.
This story sensitively explores the intense feelings of loss and grief felt by Col for his father and kindertransportee Ruth for her missing parents, along with the fear felt for remaining family members. The mood is lightened by moments of humour provided mainly by Col’s bickering guardians of by some of the rather hapless magical creatures encountered by the team during their dash to London.
Powerful, emotional but with moments of hope and laughter to pierce the darkness. I would whole-heartedly recommend this thrilling tale to anyone aged 9+
*Many thanks to Walker Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*