Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, Book 1)” as Want to Read:
Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, Book 1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  4,383 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
Urchin the squirrel believes he is destined for greatness. Dropped from the sky by a gull onto the island of Mistmantle, he helps fight against cruel new laws and reveals the true murderer of the king's son.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 2nd 2006 by Miramax Books (first published January 3rd 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Urchin of the Riding Stars, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Patrick The Mistmantle Chronicles is for young teens but I can say that it's more or less PG13. The series does have it's dark moments but it's designed for a…moreThe Mistmantle Chronicles is for young teens but I can say that it's more or less PG13. The series does have it's dark moments but it's designed for a young audience. A good example would be any Don Bluth cartoon such as The Land Before Time. It's Dark but it's not overly graphic. Now the Now characters are not full anthropomorphic they are more or less Bipedal, they look feral but walk on 2 legs.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Gillian Bronte Adams
Apr 11, 2012 Gillian Bronte Adams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
As someone who grew up devouring the Redwall books, I was super excited to discover the Mistmantle Chronicles. However, this series is not just a Redwall knock off. The author has her own unique voice and presentation style and deserves full credit in her own right for an imaginative story.

Urchin is a young squirrel discovered orphaned on the seashore during the night of the "Riding Stars" - basically a meteor shower. He is rescued and eventually taken under the wing of Crispin (another squirrel
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The publisher described this to me as "Shakespeare with squirrels," and that's about right. It has elements of Hamlet and Macbeth with the same kind of fantasy world that made Redwall popular. I enjoyed it very much. The book worked so well as a standalone it will be interesting to see what the author does for the next book in the series.
Dec 13, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Urchin the squirrel was born on a night of riding stars. It was the same night he arrived on the island of Mistmantle, and the same night that his mother died and was washed back out to sea. Discovered by Crispin the squirrel and Brother Fir, Urchin was sent home with kindly but simple Apple to be raised by the community in Anemone Wood. Once Urchin was old enough to enter the island's work parties, he is asked to become Captain Crispin's page, a dream come true. But his dreams turn to nightmare ...more
I don't think Logan is ready for the Redwall books (too intense), but this was a good in-between series. And what kid-who-adores-Reepicheep could resist a swashbuckling squirrel? (He laughs with delight when I even say the phrase "swashbuckling squirrel.") There were a couple of things that were a bit difficult. The first scene is Urchin's mother giving birth to him and dying alone on the beach, which wasn't glossed over quickly enough for me. And the main evil character, who is crazy, has a rec ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book along time ago and it was one if my favorites!
Brilliant! Absolutely lovely. Everything a book ought to be. Proper review to come; I MUST dive right in to the next one.
Leah Beecher
So, this bed time chapter book I read to my 3rd grader and Kindergartener took over three months to finish. This had more to do with my starting dinner shamefully late and therefore bedtime was horribly late, than anything else. However, I will say, it is a longer read, with long chapters. {When the scene switches within a chapter there is a little * at the top of the paragraph, making it convenient to stop and remember where you were left off mid-chapter, which is kinda helpful and special}. My ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Loren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auroras-books
My 10-year-old loved this series so much that she read it twice, then asked me to read it to her at bedtime. It's got old-fashioned heroes and a truly evil villain, but she was so caught up in the story that she started naming her stuffed animals after the characters in the book. I have to admit: it's pretty darn good for a book about talking squirrels and otters.

That said, the villainy will be too intense for younger children. As it was, I had to explain what culling is -- it's being used by th
Oh, My. Gosh. I had a cuteness overload after reading this book and I'm not the kind of person to normally feel that way.

Got this book from my parents at a bargain book sale for only a few dollars. After reading this I felt really happy I got it for so cheap and yet angry at the sellers because they were not only selling such an amazing book but also at such a low price like it was a terrible book.

The illustrations play a great part in the story. There just serve as eye candy in the whole book a
Sep 20, 2015 Stephan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-related, fantasy
En riktigt bra bok! En härlig blandning av Shakespeare och Hobb förlagt i Mossblomma!
Nå, inte egentligen, men nära nog.

Urchin är en utböling på Dimslöjornas ö. Hans ljusa päls och underliga bakgrund får honom att sticka ut från öns andra ekorrar. Att han sedan, helt oförberett får anställning som page under en av öns tre kaptener hjälper inte saken nämnvärt. Särskilt sedan hans älskade kapten snart blir anklagad för mordet på den unga prinsen och därmed tvingas i landsförvisning.
Stackars Urchin
Apr 19, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good series to read with a child (or maybe without!). My son is 10 & he's thoroughly engaged with the characters & story. It's a typical hero's journey with Urchin in the lead role - born under circumstances spelled out in an inevitable prophecy - but there's a strong ensemble of characters who act in primary roles when the POV shifts to each one in turn. I find the writing a little trickier than most books for reading aloud, not sure why - maybe the word choice?

The good
Jan 28, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the best tradition of fantasy, Mistmantle establishes itself in good company. Fans of Redwall, Despereaux, Ga'Hoole, and Narnia will all find something comfortable, yet refreshingly unique in this book. Urchin is an orphan squirrel in the peaceful king of Mistmantle. Somewhat of a misfit, he fears his dreams of adventure will never come to be. Peace can be fragile, and all is not what it seems for the gentle creatures of the island. Treachery and murder are afoot and heroes are about to be bo ...more
Jul 27, 2016 Jockum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jag har tyckt det var synd att Brian Jacques böcker inte finns att köpa på svenska längre. Men böckerna om Urchin är något i liknande genre. Så jag läste glatt igenom första boken och hittade en värld i samma anda.

Djuren (Ekorrar, uttrar, igelkottar och Mullvadar) har all sina karaktärsdrag och man ser det runt om i deras lilla värld. Små härliga beskrivningar om olika maträtter för de olika djuren är roliga och hur olika djur tar sig fram via tunnlar, vatten, eller klättring.

Vems perspektiv vi
Dec 25, 2009 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! When I first saw it, I thought it would be a knock-off of the Redwall series but it was really original. It had a sweet (I don't mean cool, I mean sweet) and presenting-the-facts style to it and though it was a little obvious that Lord Husk and Lady Aspen were the bad guys right from the start (this thing does a spoiler alert on its own right?) it did a terrific job of making them seem innocent at first. It was surprising too, in small ways as well as the big ones and, thoug ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Rosemarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few children's fantasies deserve adult attention for their own sakes, not simply as choices to give to younger relatives. The Mistmantle series definitely belongs in the category of "ageless reader appeal."
A surprisingly well-developed plot, colorfully real and recognisable characters, admireable heroes (complete with character flaws), and satisfying illustrations of necessary life lessons are typical of this first volume. Read it! You'll be glad you did!
King Haddock
This certainly was no replace of the wonders spun in Redwall, but it was a cute children's novel, nonetheless. Still, I found it highly predictable because it follows a very normal pattern of plot. In that sense, the book was already worn out from the first page. Characters were extremely flat. Still, the culling of the "defective" children was chilling, as it was meant to be, making a great start in the novel. Overall, it is a fun, short adventure story to read.
Jul 22, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Listening to the audio in the car with the kids. Our friends the White's gave us this audio, thank you! I absolutely love the reader's voice...Andrew Sachs. He changes his voice so well from character to character!..7/22/15

Jacob would like to rate this above 5 stars. We all loved it! Looking forward to getting Book Two (perhaps for Christmas?)
Gretchen Jones
Jan 08, 2013 Gretchen Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every book in this series compelled me to the next book! Minimally predictable, which is hard to accomplish in all five books in a series. Heartwarming, believable characters carry through all five books. Loved every one of them!
Jun 14, 2007 Ninius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasyishbooks
Premise is reminiscent of Redwall, but with a bit of grit. Plot should ring some Shakespearean bells. :)
Mar 28, 2013 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt completely pulled into the fantasy world of talking animals. I enjoyed the charm and pull between good and evil. The imagery was great.
May 09, 2012 Rageofanath rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It seems as though every book with anthropomorphic animal characters claims to be an “adventure in the great tradition of Watership Down and The Wind in the Willows.” Unfortunately not all anthropomorphic animal books meet the standards set by the tradition.

There are several good things about the book: It is well-written overall, the characters are generally believable, there’s lots of political intrigue (Many of the themes in the book come from Macbeth), and the artwork both on the cover and at
Nov 04, 2016 BlackfishGirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, it had a really magical feeling to it although it was surprisingly dark in bits! Felt a bit like Game of Thrones with squirrels! Yes, it is predictable, it is a children's book but I really enjoyed the writing and will try and find the rest of the series!
Kara Franklin
Dec 22, 2016 Kara Franklin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love adventure, talking animals, magic and drama. You will LOVE this book! I LOVED Redwall and this is very similar!
Kolten Faver
Nov 01, 2010 Kolten Faver rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Candace | Evianrei
Urchin of the Riding Stars tells a tale of woodland animals and their mysterious island Mistmantle. The main protagonist is Urchin the squirrel, found as an infant on the shore. What lies ahead for Urchin? Where is his place on this strange island?

I found this book to be incredibly amazing! Fans of the Redwall series will definitely enjoy reading Urchin of the Riding Stars. It was chock full of suspense! If I hadn't been so busy with work I would've read this book much faster, I had trouble put
Ian Wood
Oct 02, 2015 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Adam Bolander
Nov 09, 2011 Adam Bolander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the mysterious island of Mistmantle, where squirrels, hedgehogs, otters, and moles stand upright and act like human beings, there is a legend that when the stars leave their places to dance around the night sky, something monumental is about to happen. Whether this event will be for good or evil, none can tell. It is on one of these nights that a tiny squirrel is born. Named Urchin by the squirrel who finds him, he is different from the other red squirrels because of his pale white fur. When ...more
This didn't feel like your typical YA novel: there were many, surprising and bloody scenes that the author painted over and over again, clearly enjoying themselves, and it was also strangely moody and dark, and I admit I really got scared couple of times and had to put the book down for a moment before I could continue, heart desperately bumping away. The tyrant in this book and world was cunning, hidden in the plain sight, clever and cruel, thus dangerous. The fight smouldered in the hearts of ...more
both kids to review. I have not read, but from their discussion it sounds like a noble, worthy successor to Redwall. I ordered it from the library after being completed enchanted by McAllister's "Women of the Bible," to be reviewed in my November 2013 column (on gift books for kids).

I've now read and here is Mom's review:


Hi this is Joe reviewing Mistmantle. I like this book because it's exciting. You just never know what is going to happen.

It starts
Nov 20, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, I would have eaten this up as a 10-year-old. As an adult, it was a rough beginning because it seems like all of McAllister's cards are laid on the table in the first couple of pages. Orphan: check. Mysterious destiny: check. Concerned guardians: check. A hero narrative in the making, with squirrels riding front and center. No wonder GoodReads kept telling me to read this after all of the Redwall reviews I've been doing.
But I kept going, because it was cute and McAllister also puts otters in
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Cheapest place to buy books 2 10 Sep 13, 2013 09:42AM  
  • Psychic Detective Yakumo Vol. 4 (Suzuka Oda)
  • Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)
  • The Dark Portal (The Deptford Mice, #1)
  • High Rhulain (Redwall, #18)
  • Ragweed (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #0)
  • We Dine With Cannibals (An Accidental Adventure, #2)
  • Cat Girl's Day Off
  • 悪魔とドルチェ 2 [Akuma to Dolce 2]
  • The Tygrine Cat
  • Swordbird (Swordbird, #1)
Some books by this author are attributed to M.I. McAllister.

Also writes as Poppy Harris.
More about Margaret McAllister...

Other Books in the Series

The Mistmantle Chronicles (5 books)
  • Urchin and the Heartstone (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #2)
  • The Heir of Mistmantle (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #3)
  • Urchin and the Raven War (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #4)
  • Urchin and the Rage Tide (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #5)

Share This Book