URCHIN OF THE RIDING STARS by M.I. McAllister

URCHIN OF THE RIDING STARS

The Mistmantle Chronicles, Book One
Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Evidently hoping to tap into the Redwall audience, McAllister furnishes a cast of squirrels, hedgehogs and other small creatures with an island surrounded by magical mists, a pair of obscure prophecies, a castle atop a nearly forgotten reservoir of Evil and a kindly king who comes under the thumb of a murderous vassal. Into the intrigue scampers Urchin, an orphaned squirrel of an unusual color who, plainly destined for great things, rises from obscurity to become a Page at the Tower, undertake a seemingly hopeless mission and return just in time to take part in the climactic battle. No one here speaks in dialect, but the characters are all standard animal fantasy types, and the sudden appearance of a hitherto-somehow-unnoticed mercenary army isn’t the only plot propping that goes on. The tale’s competently told, but all in all, it’s same-old-same-old—and McAllister lacks Brian Jacques’s gift for vivid descriptions of food and pageantry. Voracious readers might pick up this series opener, while waiting for something better. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-5486-3
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2005




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