A young New York City newcomer becomes a rat and then a hero in this tale of knightly derring-do.
Transformed by the bite of dying Ragician (“Man does Magic. Rats do Ragic”) Gondorff the Gray, Joey finds himself in the ankle-height kingdom of Ravalon, where he instantly earns widespread awe by pulling a plastic spork from a dried biscuit: “He’s drawn the Spork from the Scone!” A quest into Central Park to seek help from the renowned but difficult mage Squirrelin the Squagician against a shadowy menace leads to furious battles with crows and Berzerker rats, devastating treachery, courageous acts aplenty, and even a kiss from princess/apprentice mage Yislene. Appearing on nearly every spread and ranging from small spot portraits to full-sized melees, Lintern’s finely detailed drawings place Joey—intrepidly wielding his glowing utensil—and the rest in urban nooks and crannies only rarely noticed by crowds of human passersby. Along with the parodied names and puns, Lieb slips in gags of more than one sort with a ratcentric view of odors and foods (“Mmm, there’s a cockroach leg stuck to the cheese. Bonus!”) and a broad range of species-specific “-agics.”
A crowd-pleasing mix of quick action, true valor, clever wordplay, and gross bits. (Animal fantasy. 9-11)