Neil Gaiman meets How to Train Your Dragon in this beautifully illustrated middle-grade novel about a boy, his trusted dog, and his best friend, as they race to save the stars before their light is extinguished for good.
When the world first formed, the night was black and filled with dark creatures. The Elders knew their people couldn’t survive under such a threat. So they gave their hearts to the sky in the form of stars to keep evil away.
Now, eleven-year-old Kyro is a Star Shepherd like his father. He's spent his life tucked away in the small town of Drenn. There, the family watches the night sky for falling stars—and rushes to rescue them when they do.
When too many stars start falling at once, and disappearing before they can be saved, Kyro’s father journeys to report the threat. But when he doesn’t return, Kyro, with the help of his best friend, Andra, and his trusty dog, Cypher, must find a way to save the stars before the dark creatures make a terrifying return.
From Connolly (Shadow Weaver) and animator Haring, in his authorial debut, this middle grade fantasy follows a premise reminiscent of beloved titles such as Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle and Neil Gaiman's Stardust. Once, the Seven Elders transmuted their hearts to the stars to protect humanity from dark creatures, such as the fire-breathing, spiderlike vritrax. Centuries later, though, their secrets have been lost, and Star Shepherds, who re-launch fallen stars back into the starlight net, are ridiculed. Tirin; his 11-year-old son, Kyro; and their terrier, Cypher, have lived on the fringes of Drenn society ever since Kyro's mother died and Tirin began shepherding to honor her memory. After the Star Council disregards Tirin's assertions that star clusters are falling and being stolen, he sets off alone to find the culprit. When he doesn't come home, however, Kyro, Cypher, and Kyro's friend Andra must separate truth from myth and shield civilization from coming horrors. Though nebulous worldbuilding, clunky prose, and a surfeit of telling slows the narration, young readers may find this an engaging entr e into fantasy, helped along by striking black-and-white illustrations and a satisfactory ending. Ages 8 14. \n