Wednesday, October 5, 2016

“Ember Falls” by S.D. Smith

The rabbits are back.

If you’d told me I would be enjoying a children’s book series about rabbits, I might have laughed out loud. But I am enjoying one, and I’m not laughing – I’m smiling.

Ember Falls is the second installment of The Green Ember series by S.D. Smith and illustrated by Zach Franzen (there’s also a prequel – The Black Star of Kingston). And what rabbits can do is rather amazing.

Following the great victory over the wolves at Jupiter’s Crossing (where we left our rabbit friends in The Green Ember), brother and sister Picket and Heather Longtreader have settled into a kind of normal daily living. Heather is learning the arts of medicine from Dr. Emma, who will turn out to be something more than a doctor. Picket is training with the elite military unit called the Fowlers, while mourning the taking of his parents and little brother by the wolves. He’s in training because the rabbits know war is coming.

Trouble lurks at every corner – wolves attacking in unexpected forays into the rabbit compound of Halfwind, eagles screaming and pouncing, the arrival of a new and suspect rabbit army, and traitors lurking in their midst. Heather and Picket have much to learn, and much to be wary about.

It’s a delightful story, and it can be read aloud to a children’s audience (or an adult one, for that matter). It’s action-packed, full of near misses and near hits, acts of courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and riveting scenes of anguish and confrontation. An additional story is being developed as well – the plight of a girl rabbit enslaved by the wolves and forced to serve them.

Ember Falls is the second of at least three in the rabbit series. It’s a self-contained one but not a completed one.

Yes, I’m glad the rabbits are back.


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