The Legend of Podkin One-Ear

The Legend of Podkin One-Ear

By Author / Illustrator

Kieran Larwood, David Wyatt



Age range(s)



Faber & Faber




Paperback / softback




Winner of the Best Story Blue Peter Book Award. The first Five Realms adventure. A thick white blanket covers the wide slopes of the band of hills known as the Razorback Downs . . .Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain. He knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren and guard it in times of danger. But for now, he's quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook. Then Podkin's home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.

'It's jolly good fun . . . expect sequels to breed like . . . well, rabbits.' SFX on The Legend of Podkin One-Ear' Kieran Larwood's talent and his passion for his wonderful characters leap off every page.' David Long, author of Survivors 

The Gift of Dark Hollow (The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, Book 2)



The legend of Podkin One Ear is an epic storytelling 'tale within a tale' that has a classic and timeless appeal from its very first line. It is the story set in the world of rabbit communities where evil forces fight against the natural order, kindness and inherent goodness of 'rabbitkind'. As a child, I was swept away by books like Watership Down and Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH; such intricately created, rich and vivid animal fantasy settings that created whole new worlds in the readers' minds. The Podkin series is so evocative of the detail and imagination in these stories, that is was an absolute joy to immerse myself in these stories.

On a bitter winter's night, a lone, travelling, storytelling rabbit bard finds warmth in another rabbit community and repays his hosts with an evening of fireside tales; tales passed down over many years, of heroic deeds, sinister evil and of a time when the rabbit world was very nearly destroyed. The narrative voice of most the story is that of the bard himself and, as he speaks, the reader is taken from watching at the edges of the scene, observing him and his hosts, to being within the pages of the book itself. It is almost like we, the readers, are invited to sit alongside the bard's captive and excited young rabbit audience.

The Legend of Podkin One Ear is the enthralling adventure of young rabbit Podkin, the son of the Chief of Munbury warren, who must shake off his lazy, self-indulgent childhood and stand tall and strong against the most terrifying threat ever known - the grotesque evil of the Gorm. In the villains of the story, the brilliantly imagined Gorm, the author has created truly sinister, malevolent and nerve-shreddingly terrifying creatures. They are a species of rabbit, shrouded with mystery, who have mutated somehow with a poisonous metal within the earth itself and who search relentlessly for the Twelve Gifts given to each of the earth's twelve rabbit communities by the Goddess at the start of time.  This is a story with a battle for power at its very heart; it is a truly stunning battle of good versus evil.

Larwood excels at laying before his readers an immensely layered world to explore that is astounding and enchanting. The illustrations of David Wyatt are equally as breath-taking; shadowy dark drawings that bring the characters and emotions of the tale to life and enhance the narrative descriptions of this world perfectly. Podkin and his siblings are the fantastically created 'heroes' of the piece. The trio includes young, clueless Podkin: feisty and determined older sister Paz and the tiniest (but very alert ) toddler rabbit Pook; characters that the reader takes to the warmth of their hearts. Larwood expertly takes his characters through a whole journey of huge emotions - fear, grief, vulnerability, anger, bravery, boldness - as well as sprinkling their story with the bickering and humour that comes alongside a young family of brothers and sisters.

The Legend of Podkin One Ear really is a thrilling and fast paced quest with its themes of courage over fear and loyalty and love over cruelty and a thirst for power. The ending of the story is perfectly executed with the sense of victory and hope and a delightful 'reveal' in the very last chapter, where the reader also realizes that the author is deliciously dangling a carrot of his own over the reader with the hint of much more to come.

288 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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