Book Review: Green Ember series

By S. D. Smith

“My place beside you, my blood for yours, til the Green Ember rises, or the end of the world”

Recently I read The Green Ember by S. D. Smith, an epic middle grade fantasy adventure, full of noble sword-wielding rabbits, superb character arcs, high stakes, and an exciting story. I loved it so much I had to read the rest of the series, so read on if you want to hear if the other three books lived up to the first.

I should mention that the green ember is a symbol of the future heir to the throne, and the rabbits are determined to fulfil the dreams of their late murdered king and reach ‘the mended wood’, where rabbits can live without fear.

Book 2 in the series continues the epic adventures of siblings Heather and Picket. This time the rabbits are based in Halfwind, another pocket of rabbit resistance against Morbin and his alliance of birds of prey and wolves. Formidable as these foes are, the most dangerous enemies are those within… It’s another gripping story with a fast-paced plot and wonderful characters. Picket has grown a lot since the first book, but desperate to find news of his family, he does something terrible, with awful consequences. Heather continues to shine, growing more confident every day. This story is also full of devastating set-backs for our rabbits. Can Heather and Picket reverse the tide of misfortunes? I loved this book as much as the first, if not more. TOTP and I say 9 out of 10 Diamonds.

Book 3 of the series directly picks up after the exciting conclusion of book 2. Once more there are high stakes, betrayal, loyalty and self-sacrifice. Picket finally comes into his own, and Heather has a really exciting adventure in one of Morbin’s cities, where the rabbits are enslaved by the birds of prey, some of them willingly exchanging freedom for servitude, others for the ability to lord it over their fellow rabbits. It may put you in mind of certain places and times in human history… 🙂 The story line is a little darker, possibly why I like it the best, so be warned! TOTP and I say 10 out of 10 Diamonds.

Ember Ends sees the conclusion of the story, and a happy ending for most characters. I have to confess I was hugely disappointed in this book. My expectations were pretty high as each book in the series got better, so I expected an amazing finale. This time Picket’s story seems one endless battle (great action scenes but I needed more story) and Heather, although I was thrilled she met an old friend, had a totally separate unrelated story, which didn’t grip me. It’s a good book but not as great as the others. TOTP and I give it 7 out of 10 Diamonds.

There are two accompanying mini-series, comprising of three novellas each. The Black Star of Kingston is the first tale in Old Natalia, stories of the rabbits’ first king, and The Last Archer series features one of the characters from the main books, giving an account of what he was up to during the same events.

Overall this is a great adventure series, full of action, intrigue, loyalty, courage, betrayal, friendship and family, in an epic battle of fighting for what is right and true, no matter the cost. All the books are beautifully illustrated by Zach Franzen. And, of course, they all feature rabbits with swords.

See here for my review The Green Ember.

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