Author: Applegate, Katherine
Book 1--As a ragtag group journeys across war-torn Nedarra, they will help put into motion events that will bring the civil war that plagues their land to a head.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 195063
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/18)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/18)
Booklist (+) (03/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2018 *Starred Review* In the land of Nedarra, six governing species reign supreme, but the dairnes—a cross between dog and sugar glider—are critically endangered. Hunted by humans to obscurity, the remaining dairnes have left their treetop nests for more concealed abodes on the ground. Byx is the runt of her pack and highly curious about the world around her. When she sneaks out to explore one day, she rescues a wobbyk (imagine a silvery-blue chinchilla) named Tobble from a group of poachers, only to return home to the horror of finding her entire pack slaughtered by human soldiers. Byx flees with Khara—the poachers’ young guide—and Tobble, but the unusual group is brought up short by unsettling news: Byx may be an endling, the last of her species. What follows is a dangerous, heart-stopping quest to stay alive and find an elusive island where dairnes are still rumored to live. Applegate (Wishtree, 2017) effortlessly constructs her fantasy world, briskly moving readers through its imaginative details while creating winning, unique characters. Readers expecting a whimsical animal adventure should be warned that the pervading tone is dark, calling attention to humans’ greed and lust for power. Yet, Khara proves a loyal friend, as do others in Byx’s unlikely crew. This epic series starter is a bracing, propulsive read that will be a challenge to keep on the shelf. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2018 Gr 4–7—Byx has always thought of herself as last: last-born sibling, the youngest in her whole family, and least adept at all the skills valued by the caninelike "dairnes." But when her family, the last-known group of dairnes in Nedarra, is hunted down and murdered by humans under the rule of the villanous Murdano, she truly becomes the last—an Endling, the sole survivor of a species. Byx sets out on a desperate but hopeful journey in search of Dairneholm, a mythical settlement of dairnes. Along the way she is joined by an increasingly unlikely group of adventurers including Khala the human, a girl disguised as a boy with a mysterious past, and Tobble, the small and fiercely loyal wobbyk. Their mission becomes more dangerous as they discover the true machinations behind the dairnes's eradication. Fantasy lovers are in for a treat with this smartly paced, enthralling adventure that pairs novel and exciting world-building with classic high fantasy tropes and political intrigue. Applegate's characters feel fresh and modern, and their questioning of the status quo will resonate with today's middle graders. Illustrations and maps will help young readers imagine the rich setting filled with fantastical creatures that vie for power in Nedarra. The heart and courage Byx and her companions must find within as they stand up against unimaginable odds will inspire and delight. VERDICT A sweeping fantasy epic for the middle grade set that will have readers clamoring for a follow-up. A first purchase.—Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.