The Lake of Darkness (Eaglesmount, 3)
Cherith BaldryISBN: 159034586X;
Grade 3-5–The third book in this "Redwall"-like series (Philomel) has half the detail, half the dialect, and maybe half the heart of those titles. Even the pen-and-ink illustrations seem familiar. A brave young pine marten named Vair leads a ragtag army of vixens, wildcats, squirrels, and other forest denizens against the evil Lord Owl, who has declared himself High King and heir to the eagles. Evidently in books one and two, Vair fulfilled several parts of a prophecy and he's really the High King, etc. Only he is acting weird because of a cursed dagger he removed from a would-be assassin, and he's turning against all of his friends and allies. There's plenty of action, a couple of good descriptions of meals, and a few touches of humor and emotion, but Baldry is no Brian Jacques. Buy this title if you have the first two books and a hungry audience of young animal-fantasy fans who aren't ready for Redwall.
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