Tuesday 19 September 2023

Review by Katherine Hetzel of "Jötunheim" by Constantine

Jötunheim is the sequel to The Cats of Charnwood. It's a time-travelling, dream-space jumping adventure which takes the Guardian cats Bailey and Scruff back 1200 years to a Charnwood not yet impacted by man’s need for stone, in a bid to find a new world for the Jotnar (giants) before humans can wipe them out.

Having travelled to the 9th century, Bailey and Scruff need the help of Leif, a human boy; Fala, a young giant; the cats of Osgathorpe; and a young Old One, in order to save the giants and prevent the pools of Kapol-Tok– doorways to other worlds – from being sealed or lost forever in the future.

As is often the way, time travel and world-hopping can be confusing, but interspersed as it is with Norse mythology and information about the geography of Charnwood, the reader is easily carried along with Scruff and Bailey to the end of their journey.

Written by a neurodiverse author with neurodiverse and reluctant readers in mind, the story is structured with lots of short chapters and section breaks to aid concentration, and often grounds the reader as to who is speaking or thinking so as not to lose track. In the early edition I read, there were punctuation errors, but if you can see beyond those the story being told is original and – as a Charnwood girl myself – is interesting in both the history and myths it presents. The book can be read alone, but reading The Cats of Charnwood first might help a reader to settle into the cats’ world more quickly. 

About the reviewer
Katherine Hetzel is an ex-microbiologist-and-egg-pickler turned children's author, writing fantasy adventure novels for middle grade readers. She's also a volunteer librarian two afternoons a week in a local primary school, and enjoys encouraging pupils of all ages to explore the world of books. To find out more, visit her website here

You can read more about Jötunheim on Creative Writing at Leicester here

1 comment:

  1. Since that early edition a these errors have been addressed.