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THE OAKEN THRONE by Robin Jarvis


Book Two of the Deptford Histories

by Robin Jarvis

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58717-277-1
Publisher: SeaStar/Chronicle

This second prequel to the Deptford Mice animal fantasies stands on its own, while adding depth to Jarvis’s richly imagined world. With the betrayal of the Starwife, priestess of the squirrel clans, the sacred realm of Greenreach falls to the bats, enraged over the perceived theft of their prophetic birthright. The squirrel princess Ysabelle, revering duty above all, is called to restore the magical Silver Acorn and repel the invaders. Ysabelle gathers a motley assortment of unlikely assistants, notably the bat Vesper, once a prisoner eager to slaughter the “tree rats,” now her passionately devoted knight. Their quest leads through cruelty, treachery and grisly death, but also sacrifice, courage, grace and unexpected love. The sickening body count is balanced by a rarified air of occult mystery, filled with lush description, archaic language and cryptic allusions. Despite these veiled hints of an underlying supernatural conflict, the characters and their dilemmas remain immediate and exquisitely drawn. Through the failings of their virtues and the strengths of their faults, the all-too-frail heroes achieve victory over loathsome powers—but at a heartbreaking personal cost. A perfect choice for fans of the Redwall series ready for richer fare. (Fantasy. YA)