Trickster

Trickster

Trickster
Tom Moorhouse

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192743992

First a rat must earn his name. Then he must live up to it. This is the story of Gabble, a young rat with a wild, beloved, but unpredictable brother, Ash. At the start of the book Ash tricks Gabble into going out with him on a 'name raid', a dangerous mission to earn a True Name, normally reserved for older rats. Gabble finds himself drawn into a perilous adventure, crossing boundaries, fighting with enemy rat packs, and eventually being forced to confront both his brother and himself in the most dramatic fashion.

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Reviews

Trickster5/5

Trickster

Tom Moorhouse

Review

I have to say that I never thought I would write that I was excited to read a story about rats! But having read Tom Moorhouse's two previous novels, The River Singers and The Rising, I knew I would not be disappointed. Both of these were about rodents, and this story tells of the world of rats, of three clans, and of two brothers; Ash who is an albino rat, and Gabble who tries to protect his foolish sibling. Ash goes further than the other rats on his name raid as he knows of a place to find an egg, and Gabble, who has always protected his brother, follows him. They meet another clan in Notratlan, who this time let them go, but further beyond them are the Damplanders, where the Raithir rules with fear. The Damplanders think Ash is the Taker, who gives rats their names as they die fighting. In a magnificent denouement to the story, Ash is rescued, finds his voice and rescues the Damplanders from their fear. While tragedy also looms for the siblings, the story ends on a perfect note and with great hope for the future. This is an amazing story, telling of a complete world with its own rules for living, for bringing up the young rats, for passing to adulthood. Violence is not what they want and the picture of the clan ruled by fear is mirrored in many societies in our world. Tom Moorhouse is an ecologist at Oxford University, and his love for his animal characters shines through this story. Surely the Carnegie Medal judges should be looking at this title for 2017? Young people 10+ will be engrossed in this story. 256 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian.

Reviewed by: Janet Fisher