Article, Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds), Twins

Darkwhispers: Into the Unknown

Darkwhispers is Vashti Hardy’s second book about Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm – twins who live a life of exploration and adventure. Following on from their expedition to South Polaris to find out the truth about their father’s disappearance in Brightstorm (published by Scholastic in 2018), Arthur and Maudie set off on another journey with their newfound family led by explorer Harriet Culpepper. On their quest to find missing explorer, Ermitage Wrigglesworth, the twins discover so much more than they ever imagined!

Exploring the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada

Our own twins, Lucy and Tom, live with a spirit of adventure. With big sister, Charlie, they love to explore new places and challenge themselves to do new (and sometimes slightly scary) things. In December 2019, we were honoured to learn that Vashti Hardy has dedicated her second Brightstorm twins’ adventure to Lucy and Tom. We have been incredibly privileged to be among the first to read Darkwhispers and can’t wait for its publication on February 6th, 2020 so we can share it with others (and discuss all of the exciting twists and turns)!

Darkwhispers is the ultimate adventure story. With heart-stopping, jaw-dropping moments, readers are taken on a journey to undiscovered lands full of unknown beauty and perils. Woven into the engaging plot, the characters are challenged with self-discovery as they grow and change, even if they don’t really want to. Through parallel journeys, Arthur and Maudie find independence intertwined in their twinness.

As we shared the story, Tom, Lucy and Charlie lived every word of the adventure with Arthur and Maudie. They felt each moment of questioning, wonder, terror, relief, heartbreak and determination. Tom and Lucy could feel the need for independence while still treasuring the unique bond of twins. Both sets of twins (Lucy & Tom and Arthur & Maudie) are so deeply connected and can’t bear to be pulled a part. When one might be a little more ready than the other to let go a little bit, they are faced with unfamiliar emotions and sense of an unknown path. Vashti Hardy captures this perfectly in Darkwhispers.

Darkwhispers is full of new lands, new characters and new creatures, ranging from absolutely lovely to absolutely terrifying. We have laughed out loud, sat on the edge of our seats, put our hands over our mouths in shock and even cried a little.  Now that we’ve finished, the children are demanding a third book, film adaptations and a whole range of merchandise! They truly are Brightstorms at heart.

To read more about Brightstorm, Vashti Hardy and our adventurous children, please take a look at some of my other blog posts:

Brightstorm and the Power of Boy/Girl Twins

Why a Muddy Day is a Good Day

Engaging with Authors: Powerful Inspiration for Young Readers and Writers

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