Book 9 The First Collier, like the book 7 & 8(The hatchling & The Outcast) changes perspectives again from the band (Soren, Gylfie, Digger and...moreBook 9 The First Collier, like the book 7 & 8(The hatchling & The Outcast) changes perspectives again from the band (Soren, Gylfie, Digger and Twilight) to Coryn in the last two books towards the old legends of ga’hoole. This book is the first part of a mini series triology.
From his death bed, the old owl Ezylryb warns Soren and the great tree’s new king, Coryn, of a coming danger, and instructs them to read the Legends of Ga’Hoole so they will know the identity of this mysterious rising threat.
The first of these three ancient volumes is entitled “The First Collier.” In it, Soren and Coryn find a world of chaos, warring kingdoms, and nachtmagen, the dark magic of the evil half-crow, half-owl creatures known as hagsfiends.
When good King H’rath is murdered by the foul hagsfiends, his mate Queen Siv knows she must give up her egg if it is to survive. The hagsfiend Ygryk knows that within the egg is a very special owl, and she wants nothing more than to steal it and turn the chick within to evil. To rescue her chick, Siv gives the egg to noble Grank, the first collier, so he can raise it far from the hagsfiends’ harm.
Lasky was very elaborate with the characters names like: H’rath, N’yrtghar. Doing this was part of her creation of a new Scottish/ German owl language called “Krakish.” This shows the creativity of the author when they are able to “make up” a whole language (in fact she made two).
By the tale’s end, Soren and Coryn discover what Ezylryb intended them to learn: that the evil is not confined to the time of legends. An ancient malevolence has been loosed from the past that will threaten the very existence of the great tree. (less)
**spoiler alert** Book 10 The Coming of Hoole, finally Kathryn Laskey is getting back on track. The arc of irrelevance and boredom started in The Hatc...more**spoiler alert** Book 10 The Coming of Hoole, finally Kathryn Laskey is getting back on track. The arc of irrelevance and boredom started in The Hatchling and continued all the way through The First Collier. But The Coming of Hoole is interesting and sticks to the original Guardians of Ga'Hoole story without slipping up nearly as much as the past three books.
Laskey made the right move in ending Grank's rambling first-person narrative and returns to the third-person, which the rest of the series is written in. The "writer" of this Legend book that Soren and Coryn (now accompanied by Otulissa and the rest of the band) read is supposedly unknown, but easy to figure out from pretty much the first ten pages. I liked her choice, and though you don't really get much more insight into this character than any of the others, it was still good narrative.
The widowed Queen Siv's egg has hatched, and Grank names the owlet Hoole. Immediately he and Theo begin to teach and train him, and Hoole is enthusiastic about it all. You can't help but love his owlet character- he's hyper and ambitious, totally unaware of who he really is and the power he has. When others decide to inhabit the island with Hoole, Grank, and Theo, however, the first collier begins making plans for their journey to Beyond the Beyond, where Hoole will learn from the dire wolves- most especially Fengo, Grank's old friend.
Meanwhile, Siv can't stand to have never seen her owlet. She makes an attempt to see him, which almost ends in his capture by hagsfiends, so contents herself with letting those she trusts in her old kingdom know she's there, readying suport for when she'll need it.
As typical now with Kathryn Laskey, there is no show of character development- Hoole grows up overnight without so much as a warning, and there is almost no mention of how the owl kingdom is faring without Hrath's leadership. So why do they care that the hagsfiends are there? From what it shows they haven't done anything bad! The battle scene at the end is sloppy, and, as predicted, the magic of the hagsfiends doesn't seem to stop any of Hoole's side, even though it supposedly made them unreachable in The First Collier.
But I still liked this book. It had good pace with a good story. Afterward, however, I'll be very glad to get back to Soren and the band (with the unfortunate addition of Coryn) with The Golden Tree, which will supposedly pick up where The Outcast left off. It's almost hard to read their tiny prolouge and epilouge scenes in the Legends trilogy. (less)
Book 11 and the final book of the Legends Triology, To Be A King was likable not excellent for besides a few errors, the author didn't tie up all of t...moreBook 11 and the final book of the Legends Triology, To Be A King was likable not excellent for besides a few errors, the author didn't tie up all of the loose ends as effectively as in her previous books.
The things I liked about this book in particular were the creative new characters, a new romance, and Hoole's transition from being a chick to an adult, from being a follower to a leader. Part of the book centers on the forces of evil (Pleek, Ygryk, Kreeth, and Lutta, Pleek and Ygryk's "daughter"), while the other part centers on the newly formed Guardians of Ga'Hoole.
This book basically lays the foundation for the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, the sea of Hoolmere and the Island of Hoole. The final battle for the N'rythghar is waged. While King Hoole reigns over the S'rthgahr, chaos runs rampant in the N'rythghar. Lord Arrin is ammassing an army for a final invasion, while kraals, Ullryck's hagsfiend troops, and a mad upstart owl's forces fight for the spoils. King Hoole must also form an army before Short Light, or lose all hope of ever reclaiming his father's throne. Hoole gains new allies: Strix Strumajen the Spotted Owl, Sir Bors the Barn Owl, Sir Tobyfor the Northern Hawk Owl, Lord Rathnik the Snowy Owl, and many others.
New, dark forces also lurk, preparing to strike and steal the Ember of Hoole: the archfiend Kreeth, and the changeling bird Lutta. Lutta transforms into Emerilla, Strix Strumajen's lost daughter, in order to gain Hoole's trust and steal the Ember. But Lutta finds something much more than just the Ember...
There are also deaths in To Be A King, but nothing too disappointing. Basically, the entire book explains how the Guardians of Ga'Hoole came to be.
But there were some problems in the book. Some parts were poorly edited, and had many errors. At the end, it was unclear whether or how Lord Arrin, Ullryck, and Shadyk were defeated and/or killed. Sure, Hoole and the Guardians triumphed, but the whole battle was mostly vague. Other than that, To Be A King is a great ending for the Legends trilogy and provides some insight on Book 12, The Golden Tree. (less)
Book 12, The Golden Tree may as well be the best book of the whole series, although 15 books is stretching my interest.
After the mid-mini series of th...moreBook 12, The Golden Tree may as well be the best book of the whole series, although 15 books is stretching my interest.
After the mid-mini series of the Legends Triology the Band finally makes a comeback, and Coryn is getting used to being King. Soren's chicks also hatch, though I was disappointed there wasn't much about them in The Golden Tree.
Coryn and the Band go on a journey to discover whether Nyra is really a hagsfiend, and if Coryn's blood is tainted due to his evil heritage, but end up finding out something totally different and possibly even more dangerous. A dark secret from the past is unearthed, and is in Nyra's clutches. Coryn and the Band need to stop Nyra before it's too late, and an important, beloved character nearly dies (i'm not revealing the name, it'll spoil all the fun), and another character does die. I was practically on the edge of my seat with excitement!
Meanwhile, in Coryn's absence, Otulissa is left to deal with the annoying Whiskered Screech Owl, Gemma, and Elyan the Great Gray Owl. Both have become obsessed with the Ember of Hoole, and many Guardians start to follow them. Eventually, even Otulissa is powerless to stop them, and the Guardians' only hope of alerting Coryn lies in one of the most unlikely of owls.
A character mentioned in Book 1, Bess the Boreal Owl, Grimble's favorite daughter, reappears as the Keeper of the Palace of Mists in The Golden Tree. However, Bess, like Soren's daughters, Pellimore, and Eglantine, also has no dialogue, except for flashbacks.
One of the book's greatest surprises was Madame Plonk's amazing personality transformation, from a spoiled, fat old singer to a warrior gadfeather. There are also hints at new romances, and a brand-new owl kingdom. (less)
Book 13, The River of Wind, finally the series i almost coming to an end.
The owl Bess has been studying The Others for sometime. They have had strang...moreBook 13, The River of Wind, finally the series i almost coming to an end.
The owl Bess has been studying The Others for sometime. They have had strange markings, maps, and the special "winged ones" all clues that suggest that the owls aren't alone or weren't, at one point. But in the scraps of strange objects, lies a map of a strange sixth kingdom.
Bess calls Soren and the entire Chaw of chaws to investigate and see where this sixth kingdom lies. To find this place they must go on an air current The Others called "The River of Wind."
Traveling they find blue Dragon Owls, with almost Buddhist-like values, who live in the mountains. But Nyra, Soren's sister-in-law, is back with the cult of The Pure Ones who know of the sixth kingdom and spreads the demon's magic over the monastery.
What I love is how Lasky adds yet another fascinating culture based on real life, this makes the story just as interesting.
In the story we see how peace is easily disturbed by violence. The story takes a dark twist when even some of the blue owls practice black magic on the new eggs, making them possessed with hagsfiend magic and when they keep a large bird as the king, though he isn't very humble, being filled with jewels and materials things get worse. Nyra's strange demonic religion is spreading dangerously as her very feathers turn dark with all the evil that possesses her and Soren becomes worried that Coryn is concerned about his destiny, his mother, and the idea he might be what she is consumed in.
And the biggest secret of the blue owls in their evil past is revealed.(less)
Finally the penultimate book 14 of this huge Guardians of Ga'hoole series, Exile. Although after reading 13 books at stretch anyone would definitely g...moreFinally the penultimate book 14 of this huge Guardians of Ga'hoole series, Exile. Although after reading 13 books at stretch anyone would definitely get bored and start asking when will this finish but Exile out of the blue still manages to captivate us readers in love and sadness with the brave owls of ga'hoole, the demonic Pure Ones, and the fight between good and evil. Few have been able to make a successful story of animals but this series exceeds that of an animal book,. Finally with the new book we can see the series with Soren and the band continue.
Exile takes an even more darker twist in the Guardians of Ga'hoole when The Striga, a blue Dragon Owl who saved Soren's youngest daughter, Bell, and asked in return to stay and teach his ways to the owls of ga'hoole.
It was their gravest mistake to agree this proposition.
Slowly The Striga tries to inch closer in his friendship with the king of the tree: Coryn, as Coryn is even more slowly losing control over the Ember of Hoole's power. Even worse than that, books and ancient records detailing very early points in owl history, are being burnt, as a part of "cleansing from earthly possessions and vanity". The blue owl has one thing standing in his way from starting a cult: the band. As Soren, Gyflie, Digger, and Twilight figure out what is going on, poisoned by the Ember and Striga, Coryn sends a message to them as they are on their way home, banishing them, never to return to the Great Ga'hoole Tree, to stay in exile.
But The Striga isn't done. Finding ways of accusing the owls of treason with hard evidence, The Striga orders that band is to be tracked down and imprisoned by their own friends of the tree . Hopeless the band separates hoping to meet again with allies to free Coryn from The Striga's spell.
Kathryn Lasky again stumbles us with strange and dark secrets, keeps us pinned to the book in great fights, and warming our hearts with the courage and daring of the owls of ga'hoole. Exile gives us a view with the classic, good and evil, and the misuse of power and wisdom, that make a great story.
I have to say though, I may have been slowly loosing interest in the series a little but the further into the series I go, the darker the books get, introducing things like references to cults, black magic, and demonic practices, but thankfully the author is able to keep a balance between the to facts of life with good and evil.(less)
Just when I started feeling that the series is extending a bit too much, it gets interesting to even think of leaving the series alone. Book 15, The w...moreJust when I started feeling that the series is extending a bit too much, it gets interesting to even think of leaving the series alone. Book 15, The war of the Ember, yes finally the ever-ending series of the noble owls of the Ga'Hoole tree has come to a stunning conclusion.
The strange, maniacal blue owl known as the Striga has been rousted from the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Nyra, leader of the vicious Pure Ones, is either dead or laying low in some distant land,leaving the tree finally at peace. As if fed by an invisible spring, learning and the lively arts flourish at the great tree and spread throughout the owl kingdoms.
But unbeknowst to the Guardians, in a long-empty cave deep in the Northern Kingdoms two ruthless villains join forces to conjure an ancient evil, an evil that will do their bidding and wreak havoc on the world.
When word of this growing malevolence reaches Coryn, Soren, and the Band, the young king knows he must do two things: First, he must return the ember to the Sacred Volcanoes, for the same subtle emanation from the Ember of Hoole that stimulates the quest for knowledge and invention at the great tree, also magnifies the powers of those who seek to destroy it and all for which it stands. Second, he must gather allies. Two armies grow. Gadfeathers, bears, dire wolves, and greenowls join with the Guardians, while on the other side ancient evil takes to the sky.
It is not a battle but a War, a war for the ember of Hoole.
A gripping tale of bravery, friendship, nobility, "gizzardly" wisdom and of valour. The War of the Ember marks the end of the long winding tale of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series spun in a well appointed plot by Kathryn Lasky and read by Pamela Garelick who delivers the depth of personality Lasky has invested in her flock of owls and energetically leads us through the plot twists. Garelick's distinguished yet likable voice is simply wonderful--her lively characterizations of little owls and maternally inclined snakes all delight. She's also expert at recapping the owl's complex history so that it's clear to new listeners, yet fresh for the already familiar.
A nice conclusion for this series of books. I enjoyed the whole series very much and learned a lot about owls in the process. Realize that they are written for children but are a delightful read for adults as well. As always there is the conflict of good and evil, with evil being vanquished in the last novel. It also teaches of harmony among all creatures, big or small and among varying species.(less)