Here we have the gripping adventure that begins with oppression and the fight for freedom. In this tale of three books (more coming), the ravens and wolves have commenced an all-out attack on the rabbit kingdom, and the rabbits must fight for their lives, their freedom, and their children. The story of Picket and his sister Heather will be eagerly followed by readers, as very short chapters move the plot quickly along.
It is a rousing tale to read or listen to with your older children as themes of loyalty and treachery, family ties, faithfulness and sacrifice, oppression and persecution, truth and corruption are right there to be talked about. For kids studying history and time periods like the World War II, the third book in this series provides an excellent way to delve into the themes of government and the individual, treason and forgiveness, trust and regret, bringing home the terrible circumstances and difficult choices individuals had to make, while maintaining some emotional distance by the format of a fictional adventure.
The audio book is very well-read but a caution regarding the series over-all would be for violence. The author does a good job of not being graphic in his depiction of violence, especially in the first and second book where in battle he keeps description cryptic, simply saying things like “he swung his sword and cut him down.” But as the horrors of slavery in the third book come to light, our heroes are at different points struck in the head, kicked in the stomach, burned with a piece of iron, and threatened with a burning iron. The grim reality that young siblings are fattened and taken away for the enemy’s table also comes to light, making this series more appropriate for older children than young. Readers familiar with church history and current events, however, will quickly draw lines between the story and persecution today.
Ages: 10 or 13 and up.
Titles in the series so far: The Green Ember; Ember Falls; Ember Rising