Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Graystone (The Darkwoods Series, book 3)

The Darkwood Series, book 3
by Marta Stahlfeld
Publisher: Book Publisher Network
Pub. Date: November 20, 2014
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1940598529
Pages: 269
Buy Link: Amazon

Book 3 of the Darkwoods Series! Treachery and Betrayal! Barely had the hard-fought battle against the Foxes of Darkwoods finished when a new evil began to grow-- an evil that would stretch from the royal Wraith Mouse city of Arashna all the way to the tiny village of Graystone. Dangerous river otter warriors kidnap two young mice and will only release them if Graystone gives up a mysterious wounded mouse sheltering behind their walls. When the mice at Graystone refuse and instead attack in a desperate attempt to free the hostages, the renegades flee north to collect the promised bounty for the wounded mouse, and to sell the Graystone mice and their sea otter allies into slavery. Hope for rescue depends on three young creatures who race against all odds to save their family and friends from the clutches of a new king -- a king who has turned against his own family in his greed to rule and grasp power. Shy and bookish, Miamuran Princess Nurida must overcome her fears and brave unknown dangers in the wild if she is to save her older sister. Nathan el of the Cliff Mice searches not only for his kidnapped sister and her friend, but also for his vanished mother, who may have stumbled across information for which powerful creatures would kill. Conch, the son of a sea otter and an infamous river otter, struggles to decide who he can trust to stand with his friends against the approaching onslaught. Stahlfeld s riveting third installment of her Darkwoods series vibrantly brings to life young creatures willing to place themselves in danger to save others. As they find help in unexpected places and discover their own strengths, they become the new leaders in the ongoing fight for freedom.

Billy's Thoughts:
Today is the final day for this year's Holiday Gift Guide and I thought I would feature the third installment of The Darkwoods Series from author Marta Stahlfeld. Unlike the recent slew of young adult books that feature vampires, werewolves and even robots, the young author has went a different route by creating an unique world filled with talking foxes, mice, squirrels and other creatures. 

The saga started in Darkwoods, when the the oracle Scythe, the ruler of the foxes, dies, which causes a chain reaction - starting feuds with all the tribes. Book two, Pasadagavra, followed the Princess Zuryzel, leader of the Wraith Mice, as she struggled to lead her tribe into war with the foxes. 

Graystone continues the saga, starting with river otters kidnapping two young mice in exchange for one wanted mice, which turns into chaos. The future of village, as well as the entire Wraith Mouse City of Arashna, lies in the claws of Miramuran Princess Nurida, Nathan'el of the Cliff Mice and Conch, the son of a sea and a river otter. The trio must overcome their differences and their pasts to save their tribes.

The Darkwoods Series is a cross between The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Book three, Graystone, is just as good as the others. The author cleverly adds a bit of politics into the plot, along with well-written characters. Overall, Graystone is exciting entry and expands the Darkwoods mythology into new territories. I think this book, as well as the entire series, would make a great Christmas present this holiday season for readers of all ages.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:

Twenty-year-old Marta Stahlfeld is a voracious reader, enjoying epic fantasy and historical novels, as well as books on history. The Seattle native has a particular interest in World War II, devouring both books and movies regarding that era. In fact, her Darkwoods' Ranger Mice characters were inspired by the U.S. Army Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. Marta began writing Darkwoods at age twelve, rewrote it numerous times, and through it all has known that her future lies in a career in writing. Darkwoods, published in 2011, is the first in the new series by the same name for middle-grade and young adult readers. In 2012, Marta published the second book in the series, Pasadagavra, and the third book in the series, Graystone, will be available in November 2014. In August 2012, Marta began her freshman year at Wisconsin Lutheran College. In addition to continuing with her writing, Marta is double majoring in English Literature and History with the goal of becoming a teacher as well as a novelist. Whether through her writing or as a teacher, Marta encourages all kids and teens to read!

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