The Fourth Island

Sarah Tolmie

fiction fantasy
dark reflective sad medium-paced

128 pages | first published 2020

Dark, mournful, and beautiful, Sarah Tolmie's The Fourth Island is a moving and unforgettable story of life and death on the hidden Irish island of Inis Caillte.

Huddled in the sea off the coast of Ireland is a fourth Aran Island, a secret island peopled by the lost, findable only in moments of despair. Whether drowned at sea, trampled by the counter-reformation, or exiled for clinging to the dead, no outsiders reach the island without giving in to dark emotion.

Time and again, The Fourth Island weaves a hypnotic pattern with its prose, presaging doom before walking back through the sweet and sour moments of lives not yet lost. It beautifully melds the certainty of loss with the joys of living, drawing readers under like the tide.

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mysterious 100%
dark 66%
sad 66%
reflective 55%
emotional 33%
challenging 22%
adventurous 11%


medium 55%
slow 33%
fast 11%

Strong character development?

Yes: 50% | It's complicated: 33% | No: 16%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 66% | Yes: 33%

Diverse cast of characters?

N/A: 33% | No: 33% | It's complicated: 16% | Yes: 16%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 33%

Average rating