FLEDGER by Nicholas Barrett


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Meet the Puffins, a community of seabirds where hierarchical value, male dominance and sanitized spirituality reign supreme. The Puffins have been living on Puffin Island for some time when one of their young females, Rock Samphire, dreams that the rats will devour the puffin young if they do not leave the Island. Alas, Ringleader Puffin has little use for female visions and stubbornly refuses to heed her warnings. And, naturally, the vision comes tree and the puffin young are destroyed--save one: Goldie Samphire, Rock's son. It is then Goldie's mission to rescue Puffin Island and secure the safety of his flock. Meanwhile, the rats are engaged in a Hatfield-McCoy civil war with various rat factions claiming supremacy. Mezeron, the rat friendliest to Goldie, wants the puffins away from the island so that Bubo, the nasty rat, can't eat them. The rats, the puffins, the seals and the dolphins, main characters in the Puffin saga, display alarmingly human traits, right down to their selfishness, stupidity, sexism and brutality. Notwithstanding, the book purports to be a sort of spiritual parable on correct behavior. Goldie believes in the ""Golden Lord"" and the ""Life Forces."" Here, disbelievers are punished and believers rewarded. Belief is usually accompanied by white light, disbelief by darkness and flock demotion. Trite and simplistic and, on balance, unabashedly violent. Best suited to the Clint Eastwood crowd rather than ""all ages.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1985
Publisher: Macmillan