The Rise of a Legend

304p. (Guardians of Ga'Hoole Series). ebook available. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545509787. LC 2013006691.
Gr 4–6—Readers of the "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" series (Scholastic) know Ezlyryb as Soren's mentor, the venerable strategist, and scientist of the Great Tree. In this prequel, the old owl tells how he came to renounce war and become the great teacher of Ga'Hoole. Born in the North Kingdoms during the War of the Ice Talons, young Lyze is eager to join the cadets and become a great warrior like his parents. When he arrives at the Academy, however, he learns that the current battle techniques are no longer effective in against the invading forces-and there are far too many hidebound traditionalists in the officer corps. The young bird proposes a new concept-a fighting unit that includes not only owls, but also snakes and snow leopards. But, can such different creatures learn to work in an alliance before the Ice Talon invasion destroys everything? The narrative ranges from a charming and humorous account of owl chick childhood to thrilling battles to deep, personal tragedy and spiritual renewal. There are also subtle messages about tolerance and respect for individuality. Other characters from the series make appearances, including Ezylryb's lost mate Lil, his friend and companion; blind nest-maid snake Octavia; and Thora, a female owl blacksmith. Owl languages, songs, and legends add depth and realism to the fantasy. Fans of Ga'Hoole will welcome this new adventure.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
During the War of the Ice Claws in the Northern Kingdoms of Ga'Hoole, Whiskered Screech Owl Lyze grows from hatchling to cadet and joins the struggle against Bylyric the Orphan Maker. His strategic mind propels his rise through the ranks as he revolutionizes owl warfare. Fans of the Ga'Hoole franchise will love this solidly plotted prequel venture into the world of militaristic owls.

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