Review! The Gift of Sunderland by Jeanne E. Rogers

sunderlandThe Gift of Sunderland: An Australian Fantasy Adventure #2

Written by Jeanne E. Rogers

Illustrated by Guy Atherfold

213 pages – ages 9+

Published by Acadia Publishing Group, LLC on February 17, 2015

Synopsis- Waylond Ayers, part of the royal Numbat family had accidentally shattered his family to pieces. His older brother Morlund, angry that his weak brother was named successor to be the Guardian of the Forest, decided that he would be rid of Waylond. Father Roland paid the price as he lay, dead, in their burning house. Waylond goes into a self-imposed exile, denying to himself who he truly is. When he finds a lost young girl, he decides to help her. Soon, Waylond is on his way, with a small posse of characters, and a mindset to free an enslaved group. But can he come to terms with his brother, let alone himself?

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! It reminded me of my favorite series (Redwall, by Brian Jacques), but was also a unique story and book within itself too. Ms. Rogers gives a shout-out to endangered, threatened, and other animals (and places) in Australia. That was a nice addition. I liked how the characters were realistic and had distinct personalities. I didn’t really understand the magic-y of the Forest (like their gods), but that was okay. Waylond is someone you can admire. The story shows his growth as a character and a person (or animal in this case)? He really becomes something great. I really like the black-and-white images throughout the book of the characters. It adds a lot to the story. Ms. Rogers also included a Glossary of the animals and real-life places in the book at the back. And, yes, the book deals with hard topics, as there is some killing, slavery, beatings, etc. Nothing graphic or gory. Appropriate for a 4th grade reading level and up. I highly recommend this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Categories: Age 9+

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12 replies

  1. It does sound a lot like Redwall!

  2. This sounds like a grand adventure to read. And I’ll have to check out the Redwall series as well.

  3. Sounds like a unique and interesting adventure. Great review.

  4. I thought of Redwall just from the cover, before I read your review! Love your enthusiasm for this one, Erik.

  5. What an interesting adventure. I love it when authors integrate real animals in their stories and then give info about each at the book’s end.

  6. Nice to see that Australian environmentalism is getting a bit of a boost in this series. Great review, Erik!

  7. What can I say? I’m wild about books that feature animals, too. 😀 Great review, Erik.

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