“How many weapons do I have?” Helmer asked. Picket took a quick inventory, though he thought Helmer might be concealing some.
“Two. Your knife and the sword,” Picket said.
Helmer responded with an immediate attack. He hit Picket, kicked him, took off his jacket and struck him with it over and over, then threw rocks at him. Picket scrambled around, trying to dodge rocks, block blows, and escape the whirlwind of whipping coat. . . .
“Lesson. Number. One,” Helmer said evenly. “Everything is a weapon.”
The Green Ember is the first of several fantasies by S.D. Smith, in which brave rabbits with swords and bows fight the hoard of wolves and raptors that has overwhelmed their land. Youngsters Heather and Pickett begin the novel playing in the fields near their country home. They have loving parents, a baby brother, and a happy, innocent life.
But this isn’t Little House on the Prairie.
Soon, enemies they hadn’t known are charging at them with torches, bows, and spears. They escape by the skin of their teeth with a bit of help, but Pickett won’t take up living to fight another. His mistakes and lack of strength during their escape weigh him to the ground. Plus, some hero rabbit, who looked about as old as Pickett, displays incredible skill, strength, and general swagger in their escape, all of which Pickett hates. He has no reason to be jealous of him, so, of course, he is.
The Green Ember is written for young readers, not very young, but this isn’t YA either. Smith assumes his readers will need a little help to understand. When characters use sarcasm, the narrator explains it clearly. It’s a fun adventure, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them. My kids have loved them for years, and my youngest just reread all of the books in anticipation of the fourth one, Ember’s End, coming in March.