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Brave Byx and her band of buddies are back in their second anthropomorphic fantasy adventure that sees them journey to the snow-capped mountains of Dreyland to discover whether she really is the last of her kind.Fast-paced and thrilling, Byx’s courageous quest is also underpinned by emotion. Middle Grade readers will identify with her self-effacing protestations that she’s “not brave. Not bold. Not a leader”. But of course, she is, and battles much danger and a swelling sense of darkness as she and her friends realise that revolution is the only way her species will survive. Alongside the action, the writing is cinematically atmospheric and lyrical: “Grey clouds encircled the mountains, groping for the peaks. Our breath hovered before us like ghosts from our tangled pasts”. This is perfect for fans of Brian Jacques, Robin Jarvis and The Legend of Podkin One-Ear.
This classic quest story is perfect for animal-loving adventure-seekers, replete with a kaleidoscope of characters and a high-stake journey driven by the colossal courage of one small creature. Byx is the lowliest member of her dwindling dairne pack, a mythical doglike species that’s on the verge of being hunted to extinction. While she was “used to being last”, she “did not want to be the last to live”. She “did not want to be the endling” of the dairnes and so when she finds herself alone, indomitable Byx embarks on a perilous quest to find others of her kind, encountering new allies as she braves war-ravaged lands. The writing is pacey and infused with much courage, compassion and hope, and a sparkling sense of legend. This is a heartily nourishing novel for 9+ year-olds with a thirst for fantasy, and readers who love animals and nature.