Title: The Green Ember
Author: S. D. Smith
Series: The Green Ember series, book 1
Major Themes: Fantasy
Synopsis: When their parents are kidnapped—or worse—Heather and Picket must seek out other rabbits to find safety and fight back against the encroaching wolves.
Ever since we first got a Kindle, Mom has kept an eye on the free Kindle books, and in more recent years, I have as well. There are some good ones available—and The Green Ember was one that came up several times! I had seen recommendations for it on several different websites, so I was wanting to give it a shot. Then, one day, I decided to read it to my siblings in the evening. Whether that was a good decision or not, I don’t know—but they quickly got engrossed in the story, and we’ve spent multiple hours reading together since then! Well…almost; I went on a trip part-way through the book, so I recorded it for them while I was gone and they listened when they had the chance. Still, we both enjoyed it!
I love telling people about this book—“It’s a book about rabbits with swords!” They find it hard to believe, but that is what it is. Heather and Picket, brother and sister, lose their parents at a young age. What’s hardest of all for them, though, is that they know there are evil forces after them—but will they be able to fend them off and help bring victory to the rest of the rabbits of Cloud Mountain?
This book is a little hard to describe, because it’s not your usual story—at all! I love the way these characters are shown, though, and all the different ones you meet along the way. There’s a lot to be learned even from fictional characters like these. I love how much family was appreciated here—as that’s a big part of my life, I guess that stuck out to me more than it might to others, and it was really good to see that here. The sibling love and rivalry was something I could relate to very well, but I enjoyed how they ended up working together.
As I said, The Green Ember is a different sort of book. If you don’t like fantasy, don’t read these—and if you’re over the age of 12 or 15, you might not enjoy them as much as younger people would. I could be wrong, though—there’s a lot to love about the loyalty shown in this story and the dedication the rabbits had to trying to help each other. Overall, it’s a fun story. I didn’t find it overly gripping, but I did enjoy reading it.
WARNING: A story is told of someone who was killed in ch. 3. One view held throughout the book that is expressed in ch. 25 is, “some must bear arms and that is their calling.” One character is determined to get revenge in ch. 26, and a young rabbit is hurt in that chapter. People are hurt in different ways in ch. 28 and 31. “Cursed” is used in ch. 31, and a man is killed, and children see pictures of past battles. In ch. 32, there’s a fight, and someone encourages someone else to be bitter. In ch. 38 and 39, the wolves attack, and there is a terrible battle with some rabbits being killed or wounded—fairly descriptive; and someone admits to being a traitor. In ch. 40-42, several different animals are killed or almost killed, and some of it is pretty descriptive.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15