21 Nov 2022


 Amongst several bloggers who over 7 days will be participating in this Blog Tour. Today {the 4th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ... 


Target Age ... YA

Genre ... Historical Fiction/ Adventure

Publication Date:  28th September 2022

Standalone Novel

Page Count ... 198

Pre-Order Link ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Young-Eagle-Rising-Ellie-Joyce/dp/1915122953/

Ireland 1735. Thirteen-year-old William Baxter has a grandmother with peculiar powers – so peculiar he believes she must be a witch. Taking this secret with him, he reluctantly sails with his family to the New World and the promise of a better life.


But Pennsylvania proves to be a savage, unforgiving place rife with warring tribes, slavery and dangerous animals. When William’s life suddenly takes a terrifying turn, he is thrust headlong into a battle for survival. Consumed with hatred for those responsible, he desperately wants to return to Ireland, but the coast is one hundred miles away and the trail runs through native territory. Alone and frightened, he sets out on what becomes the journey of a lifetime, determined to survive and have his revenge.

Young Eagle Rising is a coming-of-age story, a mix of fantasy, history, adventure and the enduring love of an old Irish witch. ... Synopsis

I hoped the ship had sailed already. ... First Sentence, Farewell To Ireland

There was a river of calm in that big man's soul, and I reckon some of it splashed on me because my fear began to dwindle. I tried to stay awake, its only polite to listen and make conversation as Da would have done, but my eyes were heavy as rocks. I heard Erik mention an old Native path that went toward Philadelphia, then he paused to fll his pipe with a spit of baccy, and in that moment, I dreamed myself safely back in the cabin and Ma at my side kissing me goodnight. ... Memorable Moment, Page 53

I have said it before and I'll doubtlessly say it again, to my mind, a great story is a great story whatever the intended age of its readers and, my goodness, Young Eagle Rising, is a great story; I'd even go as far as to say my favourite this year.

Though marketed at a Young Adult audience {widely considered those twelve to fourteen years and upwards} because this explores some of the realities faced by settlers{the dangers of a long sea voyage, including death; the mistreatment of slaves;  the scalping by Native Americans etc} Young Eagle Rising might not be considered advisable for really young or highly sensitive readers but as for the rest of us ... well, no longer a young adult by more years than I'd care to think of, to say I'd enjoyed this story is an understatement.

A sort of boy's own adventure story; an adventurous coming of age story that sees the scrawny William and his family set off from Ireland to the New World, leaving behind his beloved grandmother who is the village's wise women, where he will come into contact with not just sailors and his fellow settlers but also those who make their livelihood trading as well as slaves and their cruel masters, native tribes people and the rulers of Pennsylvania Colony.

Full of great characters, the major ones all male; Will a fantastic and intelligent narrator who paints a vivid picture of both his homeland and the Americas. Warm and respectful of all he meets, he quickly learns that things are rarely black and white, that there are good and bad, the honest and dishonest amongst all peoples. I was therefore a bit saddened that whilst the author had been so careful not to depict the relationship/dealings between the white settlers and native tribes as being clear cut, the same could not entirely be said of her depiction of the relationship/dealings between the various tribes. 

A rather small niggle; as a whole, definitely in my top three if not my favourite read of 2022, I found Young Eagle Rising totally compelling reading from the off.

About Ellie Joyce ...  Ellie Joyce was born and raised in Belfast. She holds an A.L.A.M. (Dip. Acting) from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She and her husband have four children and live in Leicestershire. Young Eagle Rising is her debut novel. See more at elliejoyceauthor.com.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

That's wonderful you loved this one. I do like books for all age groups. Like you said, a good story is a good story.

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

Kelly said...

This does sound like a book that could appeal to any age. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot in my youth.

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a great and compelling
book with truly memorable characters. I
will definitely keep it in mind. And thank
you for your excellent review.