Monday 21 August 2023

Custodians: Wylah the Koorie Warrior 2

Custodians: Wylah the Koorie Warrior 2 by Jordan Gould and Richard Pritchard. Albert Street Books-an imprint of Allen and Unwin 2023. Paperback RRP $15.99. ISBN 9781761180040

Reviewed by Debra Williams

This is the second MG adventure in the Wylah series, the first being Guardians: Wylah the Koorie Warrior 1. The co-authors and illustrator are a creative team. Jordan Gould is a Peek Whurrong man from Warrnambool, Victoria. Richard Pritchard is a New- Zealand born Samoan man. Together they have woven a fast-paced adventure, which focuses on the themes of hope, strength, unity and determination. They have drawn on the history of Aboriginal people and their culture, with a diverse collection of creatures who are the great tribal guardians.  

Young Wylah, the First Nations hero, has united these creatures (from the first book) and she travels through this adventure with other humans Merri, Po and Jayden. Inspired by history, the story features animals from legend and also fantasy, such as drop bears and dragons. Wylah and her guardians must fight and negotiate to save her tribe, including her parents, who have been captured by the Dragon Army, who are forcing the people to dig for gold in caves. Calling on her ancestors and grandmother to help, she bravely takes her team through the dreaded Valley of the Spirits to seek an answer to setting her tribe free.

Along the way, there is treachery from within the ranks, and Wylah and the others must fight with all their strength to attempt the freedom required for the tribe. However, there is extreme danger, and even the mega-fauna friends find themselves under severe attack. The ending leaves the story open for the next book to come in the series.

This will be enjoyed by readers 10+ years of age.

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