Darkwoods by Marta Stahlfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
What a wonderfully vivid world created by author Marta Stahlfield. This is a world full of talking animals embroiled in a war for survival. Foxes, squirrels, mice, otters, and other animals are brought to life in this wonderful book that has a Narnia feel to it but is uniquely its own.
With the death of the fox Oracle Scythe, the other foxes that are under the influence of the Serpent Blight have decided it is time to take over the world of Darkwoods. The other animals are fighting against this. The castle of Pasadagavra seems to be their best hope. Full of characters such as Princess Zuryzel, who is a strong female character, who not only fights for her home and friends but who is also a much respected leader of the Wraith Mice. There are also many other strong female characters on both sides of this war.
There's a lot going on in this book. Its full of all kinds of characters and in the begining its a bit difficult keeping it all straight. And I came to the conclusion that all the animals are about the same size, not like in this world where mice and foxes aren't the same size. There is also much more than just the war going on. There are issues that relate to our own world that are dealt with such as stereotyping and discrimination. There are also a bit of romance woven throughout the book but its not portrayed in such a way that younger readers would be lost.
Throughout the book there is a religious theme woven into it like with Narnia. The Bear King and the Serpent are the opposing deities and told in such a way that younger readers can relate.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that liked the Chronicles of Narnia or Redwall by Brian Jacques. Its full of well developed animal characters that make it a very fun read.
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