Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt

Hardie Grant. (The Narroway Trilogy). 1. Mar. 2021. 352p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781760500849.
Gr 5 Up–Siblings Ottilie and Gulliver “Gully” Colter have raised themselves in the Swamp Hollows. Their mother has been wasting away for many years, leaving them responsible for scraping out an existence in what is considered the slums of the hollows, Brakkersamp. When Ottilie realizes one morning that Gully has gone missing, she knows she will have to find him—even if it means she has to leave the safety of their hollow. Thanks to an odd greyish, pinkish furry creature that visits her, Ottilie discovers her beloved brother has been kidnapped by the swamp pickers. No one knows what happens to boys taken by the pickers. Ottilie bravely disguises herself as a young boy and joins a crew of the kidnapped boys. The captured youth are taken to a faraway land called the Narroway and they realize they have been kidnapped for a very special job: They are being trained to become elite hunters of the deadly dredretches, horrid creatures that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each one has unique abilities to kill humans, and a deadly aura that crushes human spirit. The characters in this novel are fully developed and their relationships ring true. The action is well paced. It is exciting to see Ottilie develop as a warrior and readers will be genuinely frustrated when her identity is outed. The friendships, loyalties, and bravery of many of the characters make this a truly heartening tale. Ottilie is described as pale and Gully as bronze. Most of the other characters are cued as white.
VERDICT A dynamic, action-packed fantasy that forces a young girl to face her fears when attempting to rescue her brother.

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