Podkin and the Singing Spear

Podkin and the Singing Spear

By Author / Illustrator

Kieran Larwood



Age range(s)



Faber & Faber








Podkin is now Keeper of the Gifts - which is a tremendously important job and just a tiny bit boring. It doesn't help that there are still three gifts missing - Podkin can't stop himself from thinking about that. So when the Godseye Mirror begins to shimmer and shift revealing a motley crew of travellers is approaching, Podkin sees it as a sign that his world is about to be upended all over again . . .

It's not long before Podkin and Uki finally meet - united in their hatred for the world of Scramashank, they have much in common. But what will these young warriors make of each other, and can they work together to unite the forces of good against terrible evil?

In a restless world still under threat, we encounter the terrifying Crowskins, find out whether two rival clans will lay down their differences and how kinship matters more than ever. With stunning illustrations by David Wyatt.



Podkin and the Singing Spear is book 7 of this stunning, epic series and was a joy to read. I am such a huge fan of this fantastically written exciting adventure quest series featuring heroic rabbits Podkin, Paz and littlest sibling Paz and their comrades, friends and allies united in their battles with the utterly terrifying iron clad rabbit army of the Gorm.

Book 7 features a dual narrative again as the story of Podkin flits from present to past. In the present, adversaries the Endwatch are determined to finally bring an end to Podkin's legacy and so aged storytelling Bard Paz must rally and warn the allies. A storytelling Bard, however, always holds the secrets and truths about the past path that has lead to this very moment and this present danger; elderly Paz returns his eager audiences in their burrows and the eager reader to Podkin at the time of his youth, when all once believed that the battles with the Gorm were already over.

The intricately detailed world building in Podkin and the Singing Spear is astounding. Every aspect of every landscape, every burrow, every feast and custom of the rabbits, every weapon and tribal clothing that adorn them... it is all so finely written with layer upon layer of rich imagery. There are gentle scenes, featuring the wonder of the natural world that the rabbits belong with and seek to uphold. Then there are the jarring scenes of armoured rabbits ready to fight. One of the tribes, The Crowskins, are extraordinary and vividly described by the author; furless fighters with skin threaded with crow feathers: "Glossy black, gleaming in the sunlight, the barbs of hundreds of them had been pierced through the skin of the warrior's head, neck, shoulders and upper arms."

As with all of this series, the illustrations by David Wyatt are instrumental in bringing characters and events to life.  The black and white drawings are as detailed and yet sweeping as the narrative and both together create a cinematic effect for the reader, from landscapes of huge, ice-covered mountains to individual, terrified faces of the group as they face a horrifying iron snake on a cliffside; every page takes the reader on a unrelenting rollercoaster of powerful language and visual imagery.

Although parts of the book feature extremely malevolent and genuinely frightening characters and moments of real heart-stopping fear and tension, Larwood never tips the reader into being too scared to read on. Using the Bard's voice and stepping back in time to tell the story offers a layer of protection and reassurance to the tale and sprinkle it too with some humour and warmth as the Bard is cajoled and begged for the next "instalment" of the tale. That the elderly Bard was a youngster in his own story also adds comfort that the past (whilst never to be wrapped up as a happy ending in Podkin's world) does not mean a bitter, sorry ending for the quests.

The heart, hope, light moments and "goodness" of the story comes from the many close, loyal friendships that build and shine throughout the books and make the reader care deeply about each and every rabbit they meet. For me, this is a book as powerful and captivating as it gets. As a young reader, books like the Chronicles of Narnia and Watership Down were unequivocal favourites and now, as an adult and as a teacher recommending their favourite stories, this latest in the world of Podkin One Ear joins those unforgettable reading experiences.

368 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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