AUTHOR- Brian Jacques
PUBLISHED- Year 2000
ISBN – 0 09 941119 9
GENRE- Fantasy/ Sci-Fi
SYNOPSIS- Salamandastron, ancestral home of the Badger Lords, is under threat from the wildcat Ungatt Trunn, whose power seems absolute and whose evil knows no bounds. The mountains only hope is the badger, Lord Brocktree, who is drawn to the fortress by an undeniable sense of destiny.
EXCERPT- “I am the teller of the Tales,
Gaze into the fire with me.
For I know of the Badger Lords,
And their mountain, by the sea.
‘Tis of a fearsome warrior……..
….Outside the night wind keens and wails,
Come listen to me, the Teller of Tales!”
Lord Stonepaw ruffled Stiffner’s ears fondly, as he had done many times when the old hare was young. ‘Not this time, old friend. You must get away to lead our warriors; I must hold the entrance to buy you the time to get them out. It is my Duty as their Lord.’
KOUSTABH 'QUETZALCOATL' says- For those of us who still don’t want to loose their innocent fable filled days and yet want to read books with a difference, then this is definitely for you. A story of chivalry, friendship, Honor and knightly battles, the protagonist and all characters are quite Anthropomorphic yet lovable animals. Yet it is not a cute little story from Aesop. Here the reader confronts the journey of the badger lord Brocktree in his journey to save his father’s kingdom along which he meets and journeys with the haremaid Dotti and others; and on the same hand reads the parallel story of his father old Lord Stonepaw and his compatriots to save his stronghold from the evil personified as Ungatt Trunn!!
Binding through the story is the story of Fleetscut, the old hare in quest for the new young force to save his Lord Stonepaw’s kingdom and his sweet bitter relationship with the female squirrel chieftain, Jukka the Sling. With each a huge cast of animals (go and search it on Google and you will understand how huge it really is) yet each given equal importance, I can truly say that this is one of those rare books where the world doesn’t just revolve around the Protagonist (And I like it)!!
And what fascinated me even more are the issues raised and solved in this book. Through the animals the author raises issues like Equal Opportunity, Feminist leadership through Jukka (or maybe it’s my overdosed NSS mind searching), and reminds us in this lost world of today the true code of chivalry through Lord Brocktree, Friendship through Ruffgar Brookback (Ruff), Loyalty in the form of Stiffener Medick and his group of hares and true bravery & leadership through Lord Stonepaw.
This is one of the few books where try as I might, I couldn’t find any fault. Maybe it’s the child in me speaking but this unique book has it all. Anyone from the age of 7 to 70 can read and enjoy, and try to interpret the story as they want while they move on. In this age of serious novels where even Fiction has to have lots of action and romance, this book conquers heart through sheer story line and dialogues (with each animal having a different enunciation).
Being the true good book, even the evil in it has its own flourish with treachery, corruption, and fears all playing their part. I really was impressed by the character of Ungatt Trunn, who though the supreme antagonist and considering everyone as lesser order has a grudging respect for his opposition and signs of a perfect leader. One loathes him to the end and isn’t that what a true villain created for??
On the other hand the death of Lord Stonepaw, and later Fleetscut and Jukka (they die fighting together against an overwhelming force) wrenches tears from ones eyes and one cannot help but to salute these ‘fictional’ characters.
Reminding us of old days where people like Robin Hood, King Arthur and Joan of Arc really existed with each creating their own legend, this book transports us to those times and gives us a reminder of what we have forgotten today. A must read for anyone and everyone (even if you are not a fiction reader), rarely has such an innocent book produced so much of enthusiasm in me.
My Rating – 4.7/ 5 stars
PRICE - INR 324 (Filpkart Price)