Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers, by Briony Stewart

t night when it gets cold, tiny beads of water turn to ice, making everything glitter like the jewelled belongings of an empress. Even the tiles of our roof sparkle as I climb onto them from my bedroom window in my warmest hanten coat. Tomodo is waiting for me, his spines shining in the moonlight from his tail to his steps. Once I am sitting safely between his shoulders, he throws his black wings open to the air of the night and leaps into the sky.

Kumiko is tired of living in fear. Since she learnt about the dreaded Shadow Catchers, powerful sorcerers who will stop at nothing to steal dragon magic, she has known that she, her family, and her dragon Tomodo, are in danger. But instead of waiting for the Shadow Catchers to find her, Kumiko has decided she will find them – and stop them once and for all.

Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers is the third and final story in the Kumiko series, and is as enchanting as the first two. What is wonderful about this series is that it shows a child who sees herself as nothing special, and scared of everything, uncovering her own strengths and, as a result, blossoming. In each instalment the stakes have been raised – and as a result Kumiko has had to dig ever deeper to overcome the troubles that beset her and her friends.

The writing is poetic and utterly enchanting, with such gems as the breathtaking line: sometimes one short hug is like a long conversation between friends.

Whilst it is sad to see the series end, Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers is a perfect conclusion.

Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers

Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers, by Briony Stewart
UQP, 2011

ISBN 9780702238741

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.