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THE FINAL RECKONING by Robin Jarvis Kirkus Star


Vol. III, the Deptford Mice Trilogy

by Robin Jarvis

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-58717-192-9
Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

A crescendo of savage horror, relieved only by a few grace notes of tender poignancy, make a gripping page-turner of this finale to the Deptford Mice trilogy. The spirit of Jupiter, the sorcerous cat, has returned as the Unbeast, more malevolent and powerful than ever. Having seized the magical Starglass, he plans to plunge the world into eternal wintry darkness. Meanwhile, Jupiter’s erstwhile lieutenant has gathered an army of rats in the sewers of London, whipping them into a ravenous frenzy against the Holeborn mice. Against these evil forces stand only the mice of Deptford: temperamental Audrey, her rotund brother Arthur, the albino runt Oswald, the stalwart midshipmouse Thomas Triton, and the savvy city mouse Piccadilly. Armed with the wisdom of the frail squirrel Starwife and the ancient mystical lore of the bat councils, they set out to do the impossible: defeat an enemy who has already conquered death. Jarvis (The Crystal Prison, 2001, etc.) pulls out all the stops here, setting scenes of gruesome ferocity in an eerily unfamiliar London, whose human inhabitants huddle offstage while clammy fogs and icy gales freeze the city in their iron grip. While some might find his animals excessively anthropomorphized, the extreme situation has brought a new depth to their hitherto flat personalities. The most unlikely heroes reveal unsuspected reserves, and more than one beloved character pays the ultimate sacrifice. After all the violence and grief, the ultimate resolution is surprisingly warm, gentle, and achingly bittersweet. A superlative conclusion to a top-notch series. (Fiction. YA)