Review: Ember Falls by S. D. Smith

Ember Falls by S. D. SmithEmber Falls (Green Ember Series #2)
S. D. Smith
Illustrated by Zach Franzen
Story Warren Books
Published September 13, 2016

Amazon | Goodreads

About Ember Falls
The stage is set. It’s war. Morbin Blackhawk, slaver and tyrant, threatens to destroy the rabbit resistance forever. Heather and Picket are two young rabbits improbably thrust into pivotal roles.

The fragile alliance forged around the young heir seems certain to fail. Can Heather and Picket help rescue the cause from a certain, sudden defeat?

My Place Beside You

My Blood For Yours

Till The Green… Ember Falls

My Review
I enjoyed the strong fantasy-esque voice throughout Ember Falls and found Pick and his sister Heather to be cool characters. I struggled with the sheer number of named characters in the story, though, and found it really difficult to keep track of who everyone was. I sometimes got Pick and Perk confused because of their similar names. Other times characters would be introduced by name without any indication of who they were or why their name might matter, if that makes sense.

The huge vocabulary of story-specific terms made the story feel like it had a definite place, but often terms were introduced quickly or one on top of each other and I never felt like I had a good sense of their significance or meaning.

Pen and ink drawings show various characters and scenes throughout Ember Falls. They added a lot of detail to the story as well.

I think the thing I found most difficult, though, was the lack of character descriptions. Without the illustrations to clue me in, I wouldn’t have known the characters were rabbits until the second chapter. Their movements and expressions don’t relate to rabbit movements or expressions. I kept wondering if they twitched their ears when they were nervous or had heightened hearing because, well, rabbit ears. Ha. No real mention of any of that.

I liked the themes of sacrifice and honor. Pick struggles through the story with the knowledge that his family has been enslaved by Morbin Blackhawk and the birds of prey. He longs to rescue them, but the mission would place the survival of the rest of the rabbit army, and its prince, in jeopardy.

Reading the first book in the series first might have cleared up some of my confusion. Hard to say. I found it hard to get a sense of what had happened in the first book versus what was true backstory, so I’m not really sure. If you’re interested in the series, I do recommend starting with the first book rather than with Ember Falls.

Ember Falls on AmazonRecommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Cultural Elements
Characters are rabbits, wolves, and birds of prey.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
References to the fact that Heather and Prince Smalls are intended to marry.

Spiritual Content
Brief note that former heroes have become sort of saints in the eyes of the rabbits. An order of rabbits wears blue robes and appears to be some kind of spiritual group, but their beliefs are unspecified.

Violent Content
Battles with swords, some proving fatal. Wolves attack, biting rabbits. Birds carry small rabbits off to become slaves. Masters threaten slaves with death. No gory descriptions.

Drug Content
Emma uses tonics to treat the wounded, some she appears to have discovered herself.

Ember Falls on Goodreads



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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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