When 12-year-old Krish finds out his mum is dying, he is desperate to give her more time to live. This leads to a deal with a devil-like creature to travel to another realm, Ilir, and collect the Myrthali – the essence of time itself.
Ilir is a tiny desert world where the days are a handful of hours long and there is magic and treachery on every corner. Here Krish is set three impossible challenges by the brutal King Obsendei to win from him the Myrthali. He joins forces with the razor-tongued, young girl-wizard Balthrir, who hopes to free her parents from the Black Palace; a living, breathing structure built entirely out of those subjects who have incurred the wrath of the King.
But as Krish battles these impossible tasks he may be about to learn that there is more than his mother’s life at stake as he gets embroiled in a blood-thirsty fight for power in Ilir that will push his friendship with Balthrir to its limits.
The Boy Who Stole Time is a magical adventure with hope at the heart of it and a brilliantly absorbing read, with some imaginative immersive writing and some fascinating and engaging characters.
We all wish for more time in our lives, for whatever reason, especially when time with loved ones is short. Mark Bowsher weaves a fantastical world around this, Krish with his determination to save his Mum makes a deal but everything comes at a cost…
The world building is very clever here, described in a way that really makes you see it. There is humour and excitement in this story and it is beautifully achieved to appeal to both younger and older readers. I lost myself in it for a while, dreamed of the Firebirds and read it in three absorbing sittings.
Very good indeed. Recommended.