Orphans of the Tide – Struan Murray

Orphans of the Tide detail

Orphans of the Tide is an intensely brooding and emotive Fantasy exploring both the inner and social struggle in The Last City, a post apocalyptic society of Inquisitions and Witchhunts to uncover & destroy the next Vessel of the malicious God who Drowned the World. But what if they’ve got it so very wrong? 

Outstanding & immersive writing from Struan Murray, I devoured this in one sitting and am left almost bereft, hungry for more. 

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray
Cover illustration by Manuel Šumberac

When a whale is beached one morning on a rooftop within the limits of The City, young inventor Ellie decides to put it out of its misery and in the process releases a barely living boy from its belly.

In a city of superstition the boy is immediately decreed to be an agent of the Enemy, an evil God who drowned the world in spite and returns periodically possessing a human body to wreak vengeance and death amongst the surviving humans.

Only Ellie believes him to be innocent and is prepared to put EVERYTHING on the line to save him, even if that means revealing her own dark secrets.

The sounds of the surface crashed in around her and she was blinded by the sudden light.

Struan layers his tale carefully with a mix of the surreal, mythology, superstition and autocratic control making us question throughout the world building as to whether this Enemy is a ‘opiate of the masses’ form of control to keep people afraid and compliant or something far deeper and malevolent.

As the narrative progresses and the story unpeels we begin to see something far darker, primal and intense than we could imagine, and it is a masterstroke in structure and world building by Murray.

“Why can I hear the sea in my head?” said Seth “Its so angry. Or is that my anger?’

The balance of surreal, whimsy and horror against flashes of humour especially with the orphans ‘One penny…Two pennies…Five!’ tilts this story from dark to light, from hope to despair and that unpredictability is an intensely clever thing in middle grade. 

I look forward to reading more from Struan Murray, with a sequel in the works too, and indeed I have had the honour of a Q&A with Struan to celebrate publication day this Thursday 20th February, so make sure you come back to find out more about this marvellous novel!

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray is published by Puffin on 20th February 2020

Thank you so much for my copy 💜

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