janfrom france, April 5, 2007 (view all comments by janfrom france)
My 11-year-old daughter and I both enjoyed this book. The characters are well drawn, with depth, and resist the evil-doers with the help of a wise priest. Calling on the powers of good (do I dare say God ?) and not just on characters' heroism, is an element too often missing in fantasy stories ! In this sense it rejoins the work of Lucy Boston or Madeleine L'Engle, among our favorites. We look forward to reading the next volume.
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RadicalRastafull, February 15, 2007 (view all comments by RadicalRastafull)
I did not like this book because it lacked a sense of reality. It is not very educational and takes you back to the medival ages. The plot to this story is not very good also. It is about a squirrel and his master, who gets banished for being blamed for a murder. The squirrell Urchin must try to convince everyone he didn't commit the murder. I recommend not to read this book.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"The first book in the Mistmantle Chronicles introduces a mystical, medieval island and its anthropomorphic woodland denizens. The hedgehog King Brushen rules the island of Mistmantle and his squirrel, otter, mole and hedgehog subjects. The mists that surround the island give it its name, and also hide it from outsiders — except for one pregnant squirrel who finds her way to its shores in time to give birth to a child of prophecy ('He will bring down a powerful ruler') before she dies. Crispin, a squirrel who serves as one of the king's Captains, discovers the baby on the shore and names him Urchin. The young squirrel is thrilled when Crispin, '[his] hero,' later asks Urchin to be his page. But Urchin's joy is short-lived when the king's young son is murdered, and — by an arcane system of drawing lots — Crispin is determined to be the murderer. Urchin, the otter Padra (his new master) and other loyal subjects strive to uncover the conspirators set on overthrowing King Brushen. ' 'And, Urchin,' Padra added quietly, 'whatever those sharp squirrel ears pick up, be careful of repeating anything.... I know Crispin was innocent and so do you.... But there is danger in high places on this island.' ' McAllister's story may appeal to fans of the Redwall series, though Jacques provides a more intriguing mythology. Still, Urchin and his young friends make friendly, virtuous heroes, and younger readers may well look forward to their future adventures. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Harper Collins,
The start of an exciting new trilogy, Urchin of the Riding Stars is an epic, Shakespearian story of murder, treachery and revenge set on the island of Mistmantle, a world of squirrels, otters, and moles.
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