The Lost Stone of SkyCity by HM Waugh and recently released by Fremantle Press is a warm-hearted middle-grade adventure story set in an imaginary icy world.
What I love about this book…
- The protagonist is a likeable strong female character, and an excellent role model for kids today.
- I can pronounce all the characters names even though The Lost Stone of SkyCity is a fantasy novel.
- I love the inclusion of goat (goatals) who are an integral part of the story and Sunaya’s genuine fondness for the animals shines through.
- This book is special to me because the author is one of my writing buddies. That aside, I love the book because it is beautifully written: “The pass is blanketed by snow, buffeted by the wind. Lost are the slabs of golden rock I sunbake on in summer. I’m glad for the clouds that hide the sun, everything is blinding enough already. When I turn around, my world is arrayed below me. White bleeding to icy brown under the heavy snow clouds. My eyes follow the weave of the stream down until it knits with the smear of our village. Very far away. Too far to make it back before nightfall.”
- Waugh’s love of wild places and the natural world stand out in the writing: “I feel the mountain. Beneath me. Above me. Around me. I am the mountain, and Praseep is as well. There’s a connectivity that pulses through everything up here.”
- The challenges related to the final quest in the book are related to character strengths including strength, courage, resilience, compassion, and fortitude. The author researched the psychological traits which help kids to build resilience and be happy and it is wonderful to see them reflected throughout the story. You can read more about Waugh’s research here.
- The pacing in the book is sure to keep younger readers hooked until the very last page.
- I admire great book covers, and I cannot lie I think the cover for The Lost Stone of SkyCity is particularly eye-catching.
What this book is about…
Sunaya’s peaceful village life is turned upside down when a simple mountain mission turns into a death-defying quest for survival.
Winter treks to summer pastures, mythical Ice-People that are scarily real, avalanches, ice falls, power plays, mysterious magic and surprising friendships – it seems not everything in life is set in stone …
Praise for the book
‘With its smart and likeable protagonist and rich world-building, The Lost Stone of Sky City is perfect for fantasy lovers looking for a sophisticated bridge between middle-grade and YA. It is HM Waugh’s first novel, and I eagerly await her next.’ Junior Books + Publishing
‘I totally adored this story … I highly recommend this book and I hope you can convince a middle primary reader to explore the amazing lands, palace and tests of the Ice People.’ Momo time to celebrate reading
‘An ice filled fantasy adventure, The Lost Stone of SkyCity is packed with power plays, magical twists and a death-defying quest for survival … A wonderful fantasy perfect to be read aloud to a middle-grade class or savoured alone with a nice hot cup of tea.’ Magpies
‘HM Waugh, an environmental scientist, has presented the reader with not only beautiful descriptions of the mountains and surrounds, but a lovely magical novel with tonnes of whimsy woven through the story.’ Good Reading, National
You can buy The Lost Stone of SkyCity direct from Fremantle Press
I bought my copy of The Lost Stone of SkyCity from Rabble Books, a very cool Perth bookstore which also sells a fantastic selection of brilliant games.
About H.M. Waugh
HM Waugh is an environmental scientist, writer and educator with a long-term love of wild places and high mountains. This has led to icy feet and sunburnt cheeks in magical countries like New Zealand, Nepal, Bolivia and Switzerland. She has studied dolphins in New Zealand and rare plants in the Wheatbelt, and worked in mining and construction projects across Western Australia. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching school and community groups about science and the environment. This often involves working with children and animals concurrently, and she loves being able to truthfully say she handles dragons for a job.
Connect with HM Waugh
HM Waugh on Instagram
HM Waugh’s website