The Rising

The Rising

By Author / Illustrator

Tom Moorhouse



Age range(s)



Oxford University Press








'I came here to warn you. Before it's too late.' When their uncle Sylvan pays an unexpected visit, young water voles Kale and Strife know something exciting must be about to happen. Little do they know that soon they'll be running for their lives, as a new danger threatens to destroy everything and everyone they care about. Kale and Strife will need all their strength and courage to survive their journey into the unknown. But the shadows are full of enemies, and still more surprises lie in wait ...will they ever make it back home again? This thrilling follow-up to the highly-acclaimed novel, The River Singers, will transport readers into a vivid world of riverbank creatures, where excitement and danger are never far away. Contains beautiful black and white illustrations by Simon Mendez.



This is a beautiful book, from the arresting cover with the owl's talons homing in on the voles beneath, to the story inside peopled with very black drawings by Simon Mendez. It is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the making of this book, which make it a joy to handle. The story inside does not disappoint. It follows on from The River Singers, but does stand alone, and the references to the first story are slipped in so that the reader has the information easily and digestibly. The story tells of the siblings Kale and his sister, Strife, water voles living with their mother Aven. All around them in the Wetted Land, the water is rising because of the incessant rain. Then comes the arrival of their uncle Sylvan who tells their mother and Fodur, the rat, that Sinethis, the Great River, is calling to him but what she is saying he does not know. Unbeknown to the adults, Kale and Strife are listening and this news awakens a calling in Kale. He sets off, followed in desperation by Strife because she does not want to be left out, whom he will not tell where he is going and why. The young voles are followed by Sylvan and Fodur and encounter Sinethis whose levels are rising and flooding the land. Their journey is fraught with danger from all around, but then Sylvan meets Fern his sister again whom he thought dead. In a moving piece Fodur confronts three weasels who kill him, but not before he has enabled Strife to escape, and the small group left make their way back to the Wetted Land and home, uncertain of what they might find because of the rising water. These small creatures are beautifully characterised; Kale the quiet one who lets his actions speak for him, Strife the one who never stops talking, Fodur the Rat scarred by previous experiences who finds his moment of great courage, and Sylvan, the big brother whose encounter with the sister he thought lost is touchingly told. Tom Moorhouse has created a whole world for his animal characters, whom one can see reflected in the human world, but the animals do not lose their identity as animals, particularly as so many details of their life are clearly described. Each page has the lovely drawings by Simon Mendez which add immeasurably to the story, and help to make it accessible to this audience of eight years plus, for whom very few books are written in this genre and with real depth. It is interesting to note how many of the really great children's books involve a journey and this is no exception, in this case a journey of great danger for the water voles which they undertake with courage and some fear. 256 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Other titles