It’s Halloween, and Josh and Maddy are all ready to go out trick-or-treating. But the arrival of their otter-people friends with an urgent message from Keeper the Giant changes everything.
The Veil Weavers by Calgary author Maureen Bush is the third book in the Veil of Magic trilogy, a fantasy series aimed at young readers aged 8 to 11. In the first two books, Josh, “almost twelve,” and his sister Maddy, aged eight, obtained an unusual ring, which enabled them to pass through a magic veil into a co-existing magical world in the Rocky Mountains. The ring actually belonged to a friendly giant named Keeper who lived in Castle Mountain in Banff National Park, but it had been used by a villainous troll called Gronvald to steal gold from the human world. In doing so, Gronvald had caused tears in the veil that separated the magic world from the human one. After several adventures the children managed to return the ring to Keeper and hoped that all would be well in the kingdom.
But now, in The Veil Weavers, Keeper sends a message to the children’s Calgary home via the “otter people” saying that Josh and Maddy are desperately needed back at Castle Mountain. The torn veil is not healing as expected, and magic is escaping into the human world. With it goes the strength and perhaps the very life of the magic world’s inhabitants. The two children, who both have some magical powers of their own, set off to solve the problem, though they fear they may not succeed. First they must visit the powerful and evil Gronvald, but when that fails, their only hope is to search for descendants of “the Ancient Ones” who had woven the veil long ago. Perhaps they can learn from them how to protect the magical world’s creatures.
Once again Josh and Maddy must face Gronvald, as well as other creatures such as Aleena, an untrustworthy water spirit, and the frightful ochre monster, who lives in the region known as the Paint Pots (bubbling mineral springs in Kootenay National Park, adjacent to Banff.)
Children with a yen for fantasy will enjoy the Veil of Magic series. They can find the settings on a map or check out the author’s Internet site, which includes a map of places the children visit: http://www.maureenbush.com/_book_theveilweavers/map.php
As an adult, I am especially pleased to see a fantasy series with a Canadian setting, including such spots as Castle Mountain, Marble Canyon, and the Paint Pots. The books also include details promoting respect for wildlife and the environment.
The Veil Weavers outlines some background material, so it could be read on its own, but most
young readers would probably find it easier to read the three books in order. The two previous books in the series are The Nexus Ring and Crow Boy.
Although the Coteau Books website calls this book the conclusion of a trilogy, there is a hint on the final page that more adventures could still be planned. Young readers will hope this is the case.