Review: Darkhenge

by Catherine Fisher

Have you ever heard people talk about picking a book based on the cover artwork?  It is said the visual art on a book can drawn our eye to it.  Once our eyes have found an interesting cover, we tend to read the title, and if those two aspects of the book have piqued our interest, then we’ll pick the book up and read the synopsis on the back.  Walla!  Book sold!  This is pretty much how it went when I was searching for my next book to read, and my eyes fell upon the wonderfully enchanting cover of Darkhenge.


I love the artwork on the cover of Darkhenge. Such an interesting and unusual tree! It definitely piqued my interest and lured me into picking the book up for a closer examination.

After picking up the book, I read about the story of Darkhenge.  The story involves a boy named Rob who has a younger comatose sister, Chloe.  Due to his sister’s condition, Rob rarely speaks to or spends time with his parents, and he often finds himself thinking about his sister’s fate.  To distract himself from this traumatizing situation, he takes a job at an archeologist site where a circular ring of back timbers is discovered.  Rob also encounters a mysterious traveling man, named Vetch, who becomes his friend.  This friendship weaves an unforgettable adventure as Rob enters into an enchanted world – the Unworld – a place, he discovers, where his sister is trapped.  But when he tries to help her find the way back home, he soon learns that Chloe doesn’t want his help.  Will he be able to convince Chloe to come home?  For that matter, can he find a way home at all…

Once I read the words “archeological site, mystical ring, the Unworld, and enchanting dreams” I was pretty much hooked on the concept of this story.  Plus the cover artwork was amazing to me!  I have a weakness for trees and pictures of them, so when I saw this unusual tree on the cover I was sold.  Then after buying the book, I noticed some more subtle details about the tree that really made it more meaningful to the story.  Be sure to look at the tree as you read through the book.  The more you read about the discovery of the tree, the more the picture will come alive and enhance the story.  I have to give major kudos to Ryan Obermeyer for creating such a captivating image for the book cover.

The story of Darkhenge is a multi-layered tale with interesting but unusual characters.  Right from the beginning when you are introduced to Rob, you know this is going to be one of those fun stories that will magically transport you to another world where the rules of this world no longer apply.  An adventure which takes the characters of the book to unknown places, to meet curious people, who teach them a lesson or two about their life and how to overcome certain obstacles they are facing.  The story of Darkhenge definitely fit this bill.

I liked how the author introduces each chapter with an italicized glimpse into the minds of the characters and the situations surrounding the storyline.  These short prologues give insight to some of the situations we find Rob and/or Chloe in, how their fight in the Unworld affects this world.  It also keeps the reader up-to-date on the affairs of all the people involved in the story no matter where they are located.

Upon finishing the book, I was happy with the story and the adventure it took me on.  I felt for the characters and their struggles, and I was happy with the outcome.  Catherine Fisher wrote a well rounded tale, and I  believe you will finish the book and be satisfied with the story told on its pages.

Since I read this book a few months ago, I cannot give specific information about certain topics such as language or inappropriate conduct; however, I don’t remember any foul language, or any scary or inappropriate situations in the book, and so I would recommend Darkhenge to readers over ten years of age.  Since there is a lot of imagery in the story, this book would be a perfect choice to pick if you are seeking a book to engage your child’s imagination.   This book is also for those who are intrigued by mythology, no matter what your age.

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