This has been sat on my 'To Be Read Pile' for way too long and I'm so glad that I finally got round to reading it. Following on from his trilogy of stories set within the Five Realms about Podkin One-Ear, Kieran Larwood tells the tale of another brave and heroic rabbit with his first book in a new series, Uki and the Outcasts.
Uki never fitted in with his tribe. He was born with half-black, half-white fur and had mismatched eyes. After being forced to flee his village, Uki lay beneath a shallow stone grave on the brink of death. But before Uki can take his final breath a spirt by the name of Iffrit visits him and tells him that evil spirits have escaped from a prison that he was guarding and they must be caught before they can bring mayhem and disaster to the rabbit world. Uki must succeed in this task and in doing so he will protect the freedom and safety of all the rabbits. Can Uki capture the escaped spirits to save the rabbit world?
The story of Uki and the Outcasts is a tale of a dangerous adventure that only the bravest of rabbits will survive. Uki along with his fellow outcasts Jori, an assassin who can’t kill anyone, and Kree, a rabbit with a growth issue, must travel across expansive plains and into war torn cities. This is a fantasy adventure of epic proportions. Larwood’s world-creating is superb. The Five Realms are dark, atmospheric and full of suspense. Whilst not action-packed, danger always seems to be lurking and just like Uki, you know it’s there but you’re just not sure exactly where.
I really like that there are strong messages on bullying, being different and friendship that are told through the outcasts. All of the rabbits have suffered bullying in some form. Exiled for their differences, it is their differences that bind these three warriors together and as the adventure becomes more fraught with dangers so the their friendship grows in strength.
Uki’s adventures are far from over when you read the last word of the book and readers are left desperate for more and with more questions than answers. I hope that this is the first in what will be another trilogy.
Recommended for 9+.