Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Ember's End

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The final entry of author S.D. Smith’s Green Ember series opens with a rogue rabbit, Tameth Seer, vowing vengeance upon Picket Longtreader, whom he dubs as “Kingslayer” due to his alleged involvement in the death of Prince Bleston, and the princess Emma, whom he sees as “the Red Witch.” Picket and company travel to the Harbone Citadel, which the antagonistic army of birds of prey and wolves have decimated, with casualties on both sides of the conflict. Picket and Heather’s Uncle Wilfred rallies the forces of good, with Lord Morbin doing the same, wanting the good lagomorphs to suffer.

Meanwhile, Picket’s sister Heather Longtreader is trapped with her regal rabbit friend Small, both feeling that they won’t make it out of their possible tomb. The rabbits gain intelligence from an enemy prisoner of war, and there is a bit of a role for special flowers known as True Blue. Dragons also play some part in the narrative, with a keeper antagonizing Heather and Smalls when they meet him. Several battles and occasional twists round out the events of the fourth and last Green Ember book, with the latter chapters occurring a year after the events of the war, the fates of characters resolved.

All in all, I definitely relished in experiencing Smith’s Green Ember series, given its well-development animal characters and plenty of action with battles that often last several chapters. However, it does somewhat have the same issues as Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, where the birds of prey and wolves the author depicts are inherently evil, although there’s plenty of gray area for the rabbits, whose alignment varies. Though children are the target audience for the series, as an adult I found the political and military overtones intriguing, and would easily recommend the books to mainstream audiences.

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