Jack Flint is 13. He's never known his mother and has - literally - lost his father. On a stormy Halloween he steps from his humdrum world of school, chores and getting by, into a maelstrom. Scaling the dark-walled coppice known as Cromwath Blackwood he and his best friend, Kerry Malone, find a mysterious circle of thirteen standing stones. Stones that almost seem to be breathing, pulling the boys to a place of myth and mayhem.
From playing fields to battle fields they stumble into the legendary world of Temair. Here Celtic myth comes to life as Jack, Kerry and Corriwen Redthorn, the orphaned daughter of a Temair Chief, face the terrifying cunning of Morrigan, goddess of death and her servants, the Scree and the cruel, black-feathered Roaks.
Their quest is fast paced and furious. Along the way, startlingly, Jack realises they are not just saving their own lives, they find clues that might lead him to his father.
Stepping through portals to other worlds is a favourite device - Narnia, Harry Potter, our own DOOMSPELL and LEGENDEER trilogies - but it's one of the most successful if it's done properly, as it is here by Joe Donnelly. Drawing on Celtic myth with his own original embellishments, he knows the world he's created inside out.
Joe Donnelly, a former journalist, has previously published eight adult fantasy/horror stories (for RHPG and Penguin). He has an MPhil degree in American Studies. He lives in the west of Scotland. The Jack Flint books are his first foray into children's fiction.