Urchin of the Riding Stars

Our rating: ***½

The animals on Mistmantle Island have always led peaceful lives, but things are thrown into chaos when the young Prince Tumble is found murdered right in a hallway of the royal Tower. As harsher laws are passed and events orchestrate themselves a little too well, it becomes evident that an evil intrigue has formed within the Circle—and will endanger the lives and welfare of many.
Urchin is only a new page and the squirrel who’s never quite fit in, but those few animals who know of his mysterious beginning are sure he’ll have a powerful impact on the destiny of the island.

This is certainly an enjoyable read. The populace of squirrels, hedgehogs, otters, and moles bears a similarity to the Redwall series, but I found the overall feel to be different enough that it doesn’t seem like a case of copycat. This was my second time through Urchin, and although I don’t consider it a must-read, it’s worthwhile if you enjoy this style of fantasy.


Our rating: ****½

The Searat captain Vizka Longtooth captures a young badger, which he decides to tame. But Gorath (the badger) is angry at the rats for killing his grandparents, and he plans to escape as soon as he can. Meanwhile, badger lord Asheye has a dream, telling him that Salamandastron’s new badger ruler will be found defending Redwall Abbey. He sends out perilous hare Mad Maudie to find the badger and bring him back. If that wasn’t complicated enough, Redwall Abbey has also banished a young hedgehog thief, telling him not to come back for a whole season. The resulting tale does indeed end up making sense in true Redwall fashion.

Doing a review of a Redwall book is always a challenge. I have read all eighteen books before this one, and I already have a favorite picked out. That being said, Eulalia! certainly meets expectations. The characters are just as memorable as always, the story just as complicated, and the ending just as satisfying.

Pollyanna Grows Up

Our rating: ***½

Nearly all healed from her automobile accident, Pollyanna is about thirteen now. Della Wetherby asks her to stay with Miss Wetherby’s sister, Mrs. Carew, while Aunt Polly and Dr. Chilton are in Germany. After some painful family experiences, including the loss of a nephew named Jamie, Mrs. Carew has shut herself into a gloomy, dark world. Pollyanna goes to Boston and cheers up Mrs. Carew before going with her aunt and uncle on another trip to Europe. During the six years abroad, however, Dr. Chilton dies and it seems as if there will be hard times ahead for the young woman who is still playing her Glad Game.

Whew. There’s a lot of plot to this book. Pollyanna Grows Up is a little more adult than the previous book, Pollyanna, as it focuses more on love and marriage. It’s a little funny because just about everybody thinks that the person they love loves somebody else. Anyway, there’s a subplot going on with the lost Jamie that I barely mentioned in the review. There’s a lot to this book and it might make for a long review if I tried to stuff it all into one. But although somewhat different from the first book, Pollyanna is still herself. I enjoyed this book. The plot, though perhaps a little predictable, ends well.

The Great Redwall Feast

Our rating: ****

“Oho!” you say. “Sarah finally gets to read Redwall books!” Not quite. This can serve as a hold-over picture book for younger readers who can’t read the Redwall Series yet. (Like me.) There’s another Redwall picture book called A Redwall Winter’s Tale. Older readers who can read the Redwall Series will probably enjoy these picture books, as well as younger readers. I didn’t have much trouble understanding the mole-talk. (Except once, and then I finally got it figured out.) And now, here is a delightful summary of The Great Redwall Feast!

The animals in Redwall are preparing a secret feast for the abbot. After the abbot wakes up from his nap, he goes with Constance, Foremole and Matthias on a Bobbatan Quest for a Weary Nod. Is the abbot turning old and silly?

Stranger in the Woods

Our rating: *****

There’s a stranger in the woods!

Pretty short review… fits the title… Well, this is a great book. It’s humorous and has cute photos. Please read this book!