Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Mistmantle Chronicles: Book Two – Urchin and the Heartstone

The Mistmantle Chronicles: Book Two – Urchin and the Heartstone

M.I. McAllister
Illustrator:  Omar Rayyan 
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Hyperion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0786854882

All the creatures on the island of Mistmantle are excited for soon Crispin is to be crowned king. There are many preparations to be made and just when everyone is in the middle of all these activities a ship arrives. The travelers explain that they are from the island of Whitewings and have been sent by their king to ask Urchin to visit their island. They have heard of a prophecy which says that “a Marked Squirrel” will one day deliver their island. This squirrel will be “pale as honey” as Urchin is. Urchin does not know what he feels about this invitation. Should he go, or should he stay on the island he loves?

In a short while Urchin’s right to decide is wrested from him. He is kidnapped and taken to Whitewings whether he wants to go or not. He soon discovers that Whitewings is a grim place ruled over by King Silverbirch, a truly mad hedgehog whose only interest is to mine as much silver as he can from the soil of the island. The king has brought Urchin to Whitewings because he wants the young squirrel to find him more veins of the precious metal. Once Urchin has done this the King will give Urchin to Smokewreath, a creature who fancies himself to be a magician and who likes to dabble in black magic using the bodies of the dead to do so.

Back on Mistmantle Urchin’s friends desperately plan rescue missions to get Urchin back, and at the same time they try to find the missing Heartstone, a stone which every new ruler must hold during his coronation. How will they be able to have the coronation without Urchin and without the stone?

In this second book in the Mistmantle series, readers will begin to learn more about Urchin and where he came from. They will be taken on a riveting adventure to a place where animals live on magical islands and where those who seek the path of evil have to be stopped by those who believe in living in peace and harmony with one another. In this day and age where those in the wrong all too often prevail, this story provides the reader with a wonderful break from the real world.