The book Riverkeep tells the story of a teenager, Wulliam, who finds himself thrown into the role of a Riverkeep two weeks before his 16th birthday when he was due to take the title over from his father. On one of their river inspections his father gets pulled into the river. He does not drown but when he Wull pulls him out he soon realises that a strange creature is living inside him. Convinced his father is still ‘in there’, Wull goes on a journey to save him in his ‘bata’ (river boat) in search of the Mormorach (sea monster), which he believes has healing powers in its parts. Along the way he meets Mix, a young girl stowing away on his boat, Tillinghast, a Frankenstein-like being, Remedie, a woman with a wooden baby and more.
Riverkeep was incredibly well written, had great descriptions and interesting characters. The language used was very detailed and very clever, however as the book was so detailed, it was hard to realise that it was aimed at children my age.
The characters were very interesting, unusual and unique. My favourite character was Tillinghast, as his species (homunculus) was so strange. I like how he was made up of straw and pieces of so many different people and also had a strong personality. He is selfish and rude, even though he becomes ‘softer’ throughout the book, unlike Will who becomes stronger and more confident. As the book draws closer to the end, you can see that Wull has become more of a leader, which I also enjoyed.
Thought it may not be for some, I think the violence made the story. It showed the story to be more exciting. The way the fighting was described was also great (in a non-gruesome way).
So in conclusion, as much as I enjoyed the book, because of the violence and the rich over-descriptive language, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to people my age.
By Z.R. (age 12)