Uki and the Swamp Spirit

Uki and the Swamp Spirit

By Author / Illustrator

Kieran Larwood, David Wyatt



Age range(s)



Faber & Faber




Paperback / softback




From bestselling author and winner of the Blue Peter Best Story Book Award, Uki and the Swamp Spirit is the fifth title set in the world of Podkin One-Ear.Uki had the sensation of a sickly green light, spreading out through the networks of water. Of tendrils connecting all the creatures of the marsh in a web . . . Linking itself so it could poison it all and destroy it.Uki and his friends have two more spirits to find and capture. After defeating Valkus, they make for Clarice, who is spreading disease through the swamps. Can Uki and his friends outwit him - all whilst they themselves are being chased by the Endwatch and Jori's clan of assassins?

'Storytelling perfection.' Sophie Anderson. 'One of my sons very favourite authors.' Romesh Ranganathan. 'Superb.' Max Porter. 'It's jolly good fun ... expect sequels to breed like... well, rabbits.' SFX on The Legend of Podkin One-Ear



Uki and the Swamp Spirit is another epic rabbit fantasy story, as superbly told as the four books before it in the Five Reams series. Larwood excels at storytelling in such a way that the reader can follow the journey of the various characters from book one or pick up any of the books and instantly be immersed in the detail and drama in each story. The storytelling Bard and his apprentice Rue lead us through the past adventures of Uki as well as continuing on their own mission.

Young, outcast and orphaned rabbit, Uki is once again the unlikely saviour of rabbitkind as this time he must track and capture evil spirit Charice (whose one purpose is to spread disease and inflict mutations, sickness, pain and death across the land.) This book is gripping with the aura of malevolence and dark threats that Uki can feel as he grows closer to this presence. Again, Uki has his chosen loyal "family" alongside him: Jori and Kree and now the addition of Coal - an older rabbit to hopefully guide them through the Fenlands on their quest.  The centre of the action takes place amidst the mud and swamps of a landscape divided between tribes; the Gurdles and the Maggitches. There are some brilliantly sinister and quite grotesque scenes as Charice's poisonous magic sweeps through the story.

The worlds that the author builds are truly astonishing. What I love about these books also, however, is the detail and care in the character creations. Every new character we meet has a story and individuality that add the warmth, humour and endearing moments to the stories. In Uki and the Swamp Spirit, the unusual language and expressions of the Gurdle clan ( "wazzock" for an insult) being some light and fun in amidst the perils and dangers. The teasing/bickering of the main trio of Uki,Jori and Kree is a constant delight as their relationships and bonds strengthen. The wrap around tale of the Bard himself also begins to become more about the deepening ties between characters and focuses on what we will do to help and protect those we care for.

Uki and the Swamp Spirit ends with the author's very skilled talent for wrapping up some of the action whilst opening up whole other parts of the story, leaving the reader holding their breath for the next book.

352 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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