In this sequel to Podkin One-Ear (2017), warrior rabbit Podkin embarks on a dangerous quest: to find and retrieve “the sacred hammer of Applecross.”
After fleeing the Gorm, “hulking, clanking monsters of iron and flesh,” Podkin, his older sister, and their younger brother endure winter with other refugee rabbits in Dark Hollow, an abandoned warren. Haunted by previous encounters with Gorm and “feeling useless and very sorry for himself,” Podkin discovers Moonfyre, Dark Hollow’s missing sacred gift, which enables its bearer to magically jump from shadow to shadow under moonlight. Overhearing visiting Applecross rabbits discussing a hammer capable of producing arrowheads that can kill Gorm, Podkin suppresses his fears and agrees to lead a search for the hammer. At great peril, they uncover the hammer, hidden in ruins on an island in a lake, only to be captured by Gorm, leaving Podkin to rely on his wits and Moonfyre. Once again, Podkin emerges the hero, willing to sacrifice himself, aided by helpers and magical objects. The narrative device of a story within a story perfectly fits this tale, in which storyteller Pook unfolds the saga of his older brother, Podkin, to an eager young apprentice as they journey to a gathering of bards. Inclusion of ancient rabbit lore and action-filled black-and-white illustrations adds depth and drama.
Great storytelling continues in this latest Longburrow adventure. (Animal fantasy. 10-12)