There's something really comforting about reading M. L. Welsh's stories. They're so sweet with a slightly old-fashioned tone to them that just makes me feel very nostalgic. I was absolutely thrilled when I heard that Heart of Stone would be a sequel to Mistress of the Storm, which I read and adored last year. And Heart of Stone was just as brilliant. Gushy review to follow, be warned!
I absolutely adore the main character, Verity Gallant and how tough she is. In the previous book, it was up to her to stand against evil and whilst all she really wants is to have a happy ending and enjoy her time with her friends and her family and to sail, it is not to be. With some odd things going on in Wellow, with the earth moving and white sand covering everything, Verity begins to suspect that these events could also explain the lack of sleep and bad dreams that she's been having. It is the start of this new adventure as Verity and the others start researching the Original stories and begin their fight against this powerful force which wants an end to happiness!
I also love Verity's friendships with Henry and Martha. I wish I had friends like Henry and Martha, though of course, the three have their problems and issues to work out in Heart of Stone. Despite any jealousies or arguments, I just knew everything had to work out with these three, nothing else would do! But of course, Verity surrounds herself with so many wonderful people. The librarian, her grandfather, Henry's brothers, and of course, Jeb Tempest, who returns to help.
I love the concept and importance placed on storytelling in this series and this love for the library. Extra cool points for making librarians into their own force against evil! Wellow is again, the gorgeous setting for this book and I adored the local history and myths that surround it, together with how central sailing and the water is.
This book is a wonderful follow-up to Mistress of the Storm. It is both sweet and magical. I love the friendships in this book, the sense of adventure and independence that these children have. My heart absolutely ached at the stirrings of first love and I definitely want to know more about all of these characters as they feel so real to me. I think this book whilst being aimed at a slightly younger audience can still be loved by readers of any age! Highly recommended!