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The Gift of Dark Hollow

(The Five Realms #2)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The bard tiptoes out of his room, the crow-dream still echoing in his head, making him twitch at imaginary creaks of iron wings . . .

The bard must leave Thornbury. It is not safe for him to stay. Rue, his new apprentice, travels with him - keen to learn his trade - and hear the next installment in the legend of Podkin One-Ear . . .

Podkin and his fellow
Published September 5th 2017 by Faber Faber (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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 ·  367 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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HP Saucerer
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2018
A gripping, adventurous fantasy even more magical than the first. Beautifully structured and written with wonderful characters. An entirely captivating series - bring on the third installment!
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Five Realms series has the feel of a story being told around a campfire. Each book is told from the vantage point of an old bard, with the first book centered around a holiday gathering and the second a tale told while the bard and his new apprentice travel across the countryside. Occasional the bard pauses his stories of Podkin One-Ear to converse with his audience, in this case, Rue. The writing style so reminds me of Brian Jacques Redwall series with our hero Podkin One-Ear and his band o ...more
Robin Stevens
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's because I grew up on the Redwall series, but I can't get enough of Keiran Larwood's Five Realms books. They're so compellingly told and exciting - and who doesn't love warrior rabbits?! I'm a huge fan pf Podkin One Ear, and I'm delighted to say that this second book doesn't disappoint. (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Laura D
The Gift of Dark Hollow continues the story of Podkin One-ear and it is just as good as the first book. Having survived the battle against Scramashank and chopping off one of his legs, Podkin, Paz and Pook along with Crom and the others hole up in Dark Hollow, a warren hidden within Grimheart forest. Hidden away from immediate danger Podkin starts to feel unappreciated and useless, consequently, he decides to explore their new warren. During this exploration Podkin happens upon the Gift of Dark ...more
Lauren  Shortle
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really do love these little series of books. It's full of fun and adventure and you really do fall in love with the characters and the writing of the books always makes you feel like your there having the adventure with Podkin and his family. It's an easy going enjoyable book.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as fabulous as the first. Brilliant characters, intriguing story and just god damn awesome!
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and captivating story telling. I just love this series. David Wyatt’s illustrations are ones to linger over, too.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's really good 😊😊😊
Stephen Connor
Podkin, Paz and Pook have survived - just - and are now holed up in Grimheart forest, avoiding the Gorm at all costs. Podkin, however, is feeling less than appreciated and goes for a wander in his new surroundings, where he stumbles upon a new Gift. This leads him to overhear a conversation about where another has been hidden, a Gift that can help them end the Gorm forever.

And so begins another epic tale of these wonderful rabbits. There are more of them, but this time, instead of running away
Kieran Fanning
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every bit as good as book 1. Beautifully structured and written, this series already has the feel of a classic. Wonderful world-building. Lord of the Rings with rabbits. Loved it!
Arkham Reviews
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
I'm really glad to say that The Gift of Dark Hollow really improved on Podkin One-Ear, addressing a lot of the issues that I found with this story.

The novel starts to flesh out the bigger picture. We start to see more of the different races of rabbits that occupy the world, as well as the different tribes and orders that they have formed. The story goes beyond this, providing a few tantalising hints of the ancient race that came before. This really helped to draw me further into Podk
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Gift of Dark Hollow by Kieran Larwood
Warning: this review may contain some spoilers for The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, the first book in the series.

Fun and fast-paced, The Gift of Dark Hollow is the second book in the Five Realms series by Kieran Larwood. It picks up almost immediately where the first book, The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, left off. Podkin; his sister, Paz; his baby brother, Pook; their erstwhile guardians, Crom and Brigid, and a whole host of rabbits rescued f
Mark Buxton
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a bard and have a story to share with you. I'll pick it up after our young heroes narrowly escaped the Gorm's camp. There seemed to be no way to stop them, so Podkin and his friends hid for over a month in Corm's abandoned warren. The rabbits had deserted it when they believed their home was cursed. Now Podkin explored the forgotten rooms and depths of the burrow and discovered a relic meant to be lost. It gave him a magical connection to shadows that would help him in the moonlight. Secrets ...more
Katy Noyes
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like a shorter Redwall - rabbit fantasy adventure series.

I devoured the Redwall books as a pre-teen, a wonderful saga over many thick books about mice (and others) battling an evil character, with mythological elements.

This series reminds me of those, but are much more accessible for a slightly younger audience, and have a wonderful bookend narrative structure, with a storyteller telling an apprentice (or audience) the internal tale. It works brilliantly, as the narrator
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fic-recommend
I put off reading this as long as possible because I know the next book is not out in the U.S. until August 2019, but I dipped in and it grabbed me. I usually am ambivalent about series, because the following books never feel as fresh or interesting as the first book, but this one proves to be the exception.

The author's writing gets stronger with every book he writes. I continue to love the told-by-a-bard premise, and am finding myself more and more drawn into that world as much as Podkin's sto
Cindy Hudson
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Longburrow: The Gift of Dark Hollow continues the tale of Podkin One-Ear, a young rabbit determined to save his community from the threat of the Gorm—evil mutations of rabbitkind. Teaming up once again with his older sister Paz and younger brother Pook, Podkin sets off in search of a Gift of the Goddess that may be able to cut through iron and defeat the enemy.

Author Kieran Larwood has created a second book in this fantasy series that’s just as full of adventure as the first. Podkin,
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Podkin and his sister Paz continue to surprise the adults with their usefulness and bravery as Podkin wrestles with insecurity and wanting to prove himself. It sounds very much like other fantasy books geared for kids, except these are rabbits.

What I liked:
-the story within a story, with the current day bard's surreptitious behavior intertwined with the heroic story from his past;
-interesting to see more of the magical gifts come into play. i like the idea that each Gift has a weakness s
Jenni Frencham
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Larwood, Kieran. The Gift of Dark Hollow. Faber Faber, 2017.

The rabbits are at war with some evil borg-like creatures that take rabbits and turn them into monstrous part-machines. Podkin and his siblings are living in hiding, but they learn that there is a special gift that has been hidden. If they can acquire the gift, then they can forge some weapons and possible defeat their enemies. But there is a long journey between their hiding place and that of the gift.

This is a
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
After a stunning adventure that took Podkin and his siblings across the kingdom, meeting new friends, terrifying dangers, and evidence of of long-forgotten magic, book two of this series follows up with a less-than-satisfying story. Much of the book is dedicated to traveling or Pod's inner thoughts, which primarily consist of him wishing to be a hero once again. Readers do meet a few new and intriguing characters, but the story itself is a little stuck.

The Gift of Dark Hollow is the equivalent of Fro
Podkin One-Ear was an outstanding novel, and I approached this sequel with the usual trepidation, knowing it was the second in a planned series; second books are often a weak bridge to a finale. I needn't have worried even a little bit. Larwood's framing of Podkin's story within the Bard's travels works beautifully. The action happens almost immediately after the first book - the threat level is high and Podkin is a typical post-heroism teenager. He suddenly has no place as everyone else around ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-2-week-books
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. This story is about a storyteller rabbit who takes an apprentice on his trip. The storyteller tells the little apprentice rabbit the story about his older brother Podkin and how he saved rabbit-kind by defeating the monsters, or gorm. Podkin and his friends ended up battling and defeating the gorm. Podkin was a hero in the story because he saved everyone when they were outnumbered by Gorm. Along with the story, the storyteller reveals that ...more
Patrick Samphire
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book 2 in Larwood's epic fantasy with rabbits for kids is just as good as the first one. In fact, if anything, it's better. I love the rich worldbuilding that you can sink into, the excitement of the story, and the way Larwood is unafraid to take the story at its own pace, even if sometimes that means luxuriant chapters and a slower but equally delightful framing story.

This is so well written and so engaging that 10-year-old MrD and I can't get enough, and we've already started book 3, The Beas
Sandra Foriers
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm LOVING The Five Realms book series!

It's the perfect mix of action, adventure and a heartfelt story about friendship and family. It's so engaging.

I went from fearing for our characters' lives to giggling about how silly Podkin is, to frustration about how whiney he sometimes can be.

I find it so great to see how much these characters care for each other and look out for one another, despite their differences. After all, that's what family is all about!

A well deserved
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My kid is really enjoying this series and so am I. The next book (#3) comes out soon so we're super excited to continue. Podkin, Pook, Paz, Crom, Mish, Mash and anyone else I'm forgetting have gained yet another couple of gifts that help them on their quest. Podkin is learning how to deal with not being the one and only hero of the group - other rabbits have useful gifts, too - the Gorm are still a threat, and the bard continues to tell the story while shielding his true self from his companion. ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series that started with Podkin One-Ear. Excellent adventures of a family of rabbits on the run from the evil Gorm - metal-infected rabbits that terrorize, kill and capture any other rabbit they meet. Not for very young kids, but those aged 8 and up will enjoy the excitement and the wonderful characters.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loving this well-conceived fantasy/adventure series and the rich world in which it is set. The wonderful illustrations are so evocative and I insisted on showing my family each one as I came across it! I love how the story unfolds little by little, the narrative is well-paced and the characters are so easy to root for. Can't wait to read the rest in the series.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
O MY GOODNESS, O MY GOODNESS. Not often are sequels better than the first book in a series but this one bloody well was. Honestly my favourite character was yarrow and i just thought he was so lovely to everyone. I felt that in this book there were more characters to connect with and i loved it so much.
Christina Rajcooar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Howard
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gift Of Dark Hollow as with the first book Podkin One -Ear evokes the feeling of fireside family reading, tucked up safe from the elements. Having only just survived the events of the first book Podkin finds himself at somewhat of a loose end and feeling unappreciated he starts to explore the Dark Hollow Warren, leaving war councils up to Crom and the healing of the sick to his sister Paz. Soon his searching turns up yet another magical gift that may help turn the battle with the relentless ...more
Miss Cleveland
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series just gets better - a wonderfully immersive read that demands the time & space for reading in one sitting. David’s illustrations capture the depth and warmth of Kieran’s writing, and the emotion of the story perfectly.

Full review to follow on my blog.
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Kieran Larwood is the author of Freaks, and was the winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2011.
Kieran is one of only two male Reception class teachers on the Isle of Wight.
His days mainly consist of singing nursery rhymes, tying shoelaces, trying to locate who has had an ‘accident’ by sense of smell alone, and vast, endless mountains of paperwork.
Kieran grad

Other books in the series

The Five Realms (3 books)
  • Podkin One-Ear (The Five Realms #1)
  • The Beasts of Grimheart (The Five Realms #3)