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Trickster Paperback – 4 Feb 2016
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'A book to dig down deep into, and make a nest with.' (Imogen Williams, Middle Grade Strikes Back blog)
'The world of rats is carefully created and delicately described.' (The Book Trust)
This is a beautifully told story (The School Librarian)
Epic animal fantasy from a highly acclaimed author
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The writing is good and the world Mr Moorhouse describes is fascinating. I liked the idea of Ash standing out as a wild rat because of him being an albino. I also liked the grading of the rats according to age and role.
I really hope that there will be more books about the rats from the author.
Even more than that, I loved the level of detail that Moorhouse puts into the rat society and the rats themselves. Rats aren’t the most well loved of creatures, but I’ve always found plenty to admire about their intelligence. In this book the rats have myths and gods of their own and strict social structures that can make things very difficult for young rats that don’t fit in.
Like Ash, the white rat. He’s rash and impetuous and determined to prove himself because he’s small and different and doesn’t fit in. His brother Gabble is small too, but much more cautious than his brother. It falls to poor Gabble to try and keep Ash in line. But Ash isn’t interest in behaving himself, he wants to be noticed. When Gabble promises to look after his brother, he has no idea how far keeping his word will take him.
I loved Gabble. He’s just trying to do the best for his brother, while keeping himself alive. He’s brave and clever and I loved how he grows into his name as the story goes on. He has a lot to learn, but he does it quickly and the way he accepts his own differences as the story goes on was wonderful to see.
I also loved the idea of the Hunter, the Taker and the Trickster, the three gods of the rats and how followers of each differ so wildly. I liked the adventures with the chickens and the threat of the cat, and how even the smallest of changes can have such big consequences in this world.
This one is definitely for fans of Moorhouse and anyone with an interest in animals and the countryside. Even if you don’t like rats, there is plenty to enjoy here. It shows a wilder, more natural side to them away from humans, and the adventures the brothers fall into are exciting and interesting to read about. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what Moorhouse comes up with next.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Gabble and Ash are brothers; young rats hoping to prove themselves to their elders and earn their own 'True Names'. The society within which they reside, and the different clans of neighbouring rats, have very strict rules that govern the transition into adulthood. This code is so stringent, that the rats must adhere to it, or die trying.
Tom Moorhouse magically weaves a tale that is gripping until the last page. There are plenty of poignant moments, as the rats go through breathtaking adventures together.
My seven year old daughter absolutely loved this book. She read it in one sitting, and was left wishing for more books from the same author. The book is reasonably long, at just over 250 pages, and packs a lot into those too. It is always tricky to recommend an appropriate age for these type of books. My daughter has been reading alone for several years, and so managed this book easily, and with great interest. If your child is of 'free reading' level, or just about at that point, then they should manage it perfectly well, but the appropriate age will vary from child to child.
As an adult, I too very much enjoyed this story, and I look forward to many more stories from Tom Moorhouse in the future.
This is a story of rats, their clans, their culture, their belief systems, their stories and the names. The lead characters are two brothers brought up in their nest by their Mothers, at the brink of coming of age as rats, of being able to go out to earn their name. One brother seems to fear nothing and wants to go and embrace the world, thinking little of the consequences for himself or his brother. The other brother makes promises to look after his brother and keep him safe. I now feel like a whole world has been opened up to me - I now feel fully versed in the belief systems of a number of neighbouring rat clans and there are philosophical points to be made about what drives them, whether it be fear or blind belief, but that actually what they perhaps need is the truth - but who will tell it?
Throughout this story, there are scenes of thrills and adventure, daring and battle. There are moments of loyalty, friendship, loss and betrayal. This is utterly gripping and I would heartily recommend this for readers aged 9 and up for independent reading. We read this as a bedtime story, a few chapters a night and I can vouch for the fact that this book reads aloud very well, which I would put down to the excellent prose of Tom Moorehouse.
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