Written by Jeanne E. Rogers
Illustrated by Guy Atherfold
213 pages – ages 9+
Published by Acadia Publishing Group, LLC on February 17, 2015
Synopsis- Waylond Ayers, part of the royal Numbat family had accidentally shattered his family to pieces. His older brother Morlund, angry that his weak brother was named successor to be the Guardian of the Forest, decided that he would be rid of Waylond. Father Roland paid the price as he lay, dead, in their burning house. Waylond goes into a self-imposed exile, denying to himself who he truly is. When he finds a lost young girl, he decides to help her. Soon, Waylond is on his way, with a small posse of characters, and a mindset to free an enslaved group. But can he come to terms with his brother, let alone himself?
What I Thought- This was an amazing book! It reminded me of my favorite series (Redwall, by Brian Jacques), but was also a unique story and book within itself too. Ms. Rogers gives a shout-out to endangered, threatened, and other animals (and places) in Australia. That was a nice addition. I liked how the characters were realistic and had distinct personalities. I didn’t really understand the magic-y of the Forest (like their gods), but that was okay. Waylond is someone you can admire. The story shows his growth as a character and a person (or animal in this case)? He really becomes something great. I really like the black-and-white images throughout the book of the characters. It adds a lot to the story. Ms. Rogers also included a Glossary of the animals and real-life places in the book at the back. And, yes, the book deals with hard topics, as there is some killing, slavery, beatings, etc. Nothing graphic or gory. Appropriate for a 4th grade reading level and up. I highly recommend this series!