Monday, September 27, 2010

Urchin of the Riding Stars by M.I. McCallister

This is the first book in The Mistmantle Chronicles series, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Urchin is a squirrel, born on the night of shooting stars when special things happen. Since he "fell from the sky", he is secretly raised in the Anemone Woods and becomes the page of Captain Crispin. An evil squirrel captain, Husk, is trying to dethrone the king of Mistmantle and manages to have Crispin banished from the island. Urchin becomes the page of Padra, a captain otter, and they attempt to save the kingdom. Husk resorts to murder, manipulation, and treason as he slowly takes control of the king's rule. Padra, Brother Fir, and Urchin uncover Husk's plans, and Urchin accidentally discovers a secret, evil place hidden deep below the kingdom. The reader knows that Urchin's prophecy, "He will bring down a powerful ruler", will come true in the end. However, is the prophecy fulfilled in this book, or the next?

If you like the series of books about Redwall, you'll probably enjoy this book too; it's much shorter in length than books in that series. The animals might bother some readers, but they're just characters like in any other book. Squrrels, otters, moles, and hedgehogs are the main characters, but swans play an important role. I enjoyed the action and mystery in the plot. Even though I knew the antagonist and his plans early in the book, it still kept me guessing as secrets were discovered, and Crispin, a major protagonist, was quickly sent away. The omniscient point of view allowed me to know what was happening in all areas of the kingdom, and it also allowed me to know Husk's thoughts and most of the plans of his opponents. The plot grew to an exciting climax in a face-off between good and evil.


  1. I've loved these books for a long time and since I read Urchin of the Riding Stars I have read it a total of 28 times. I simply can not understand why these books are not more widely acknowledged.


  2. I'm sorry this website is wrong as it is Urchin of the "riding stars" not "rising stars", an easy mistake to make.


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