Namer Of Spirits
“Rather than imagining things, she thought of it as paying attention to things that no one else noticed and seeing what could be – the way a weed could be a flower once you noticed its beauty. Everything had hidden possibilities, and if she listened closely enough, she sometimes heard whispers of what those possibilities might be.”
The Namer of Spirits reveals a world that takes a hard look at the role of control and power through consumerism and its ultimate cost to the natural world and humanity. Both fantastical and speculative, this is an important story that creates a mirror of the devastating impact on our own natural world, while also opening a window highlighting hope and action.
Set within an alternative world that is thriving off the consumerism of silk derived from webworms, and the deforestation of the cloud trees, journey alongside Ash, a young “namer” that is born with the ability to hear the true names of elemental objects and spirits. This story leads the reader on an adventure to recover lost objects, free wild spirits, harness Mistcats, and spiral upward into the cloud forest with the dao fora. Along the way, Ash forms an unlikely friendship with Fen– a castaway dao fora, and Lost Heart Puppy– a tamed spirit in the form of a small dog. Their friendship stands firm throughout the story to represent what it means to be a loyal, true friend to others. Culminating in a confrontation with Lord Ocras– an old namer that has both power and knowledge, Ash learns that she has the ability to set spirits free, untethering them from control through her gift of naming. Throughout Ash’s journey she is met with adults that are metaphorically and literally blinded by a silk that is derived from webworms. She slowly builds awareness to understand how lust for control and power are driving the destruction of the cloud forests, the dao fora, food security, and her village– aptly named “Last Hope”.
The ecological destruction of the cloud forest brings attention to the urgency for collective awareness and action to prevent an unforgiving and altered natural world. Through Ash, the reader finds a persistent hope and knowledge of the intimate interconnectedness of humans with animals, nature, and objects forming a posthumanist story for young readers. After reading this book, earth-bound readers will also feel a sense of hearing their own whispers and hidden possibilities in the beauty of our own world.
©2022 Climate Lit (Kirsten Hunt)
Audience: Questers (8-13)
Topics: Animals, Climate Action, Collective Action, Consumerism, Deforestation, Environmental Destruction, Fantastic Solutionism, Fantasy, Forests, Hope, Interconnectedness, Kinship with Animals, Nature, Posthumanism