Reviews /

The Beasts of Grimheart

Authored by Kieran Larwood
Illustrated by David Wyatt
Published by Faber & Faber

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The Beasts of Grimheart is a riveting tale of daring and courage, one for lovers of action, adventure and magic.

This is the third instalment of The Five Realms series but don’t let that stop you reading it as a book in its own right. It begins with a bard captured by bonedancers, fearsome female warrior rabbits that hold his life in the balance. He must tell his tale to save his life, and as the story unfolds, you are introduced to the key players, rabbits that are forced to battle against the dreaded Gorm. It has deep old-world undertones through its ancient woodland setting and mystical creatures and magical gifts.

The Beasts of Grimheart is a fast-paced story that will have children and adults turning the pages to see what happens next to the main characters of the tale. It navigates well between past and present, and there is plenty of action and cliff hangers to keep children on the edge of their seat. David Wyatt beautifully illustrates the book, the drawn maps at the beginning are reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books.

This text is well suited to being a classroom novel for junior classes and above and should certainly have a place in a reading for pleasure section. It does offer curriculum links to geography, PHSE, history and RE. It covers deforestation and ecology as well as ethics, family relationships, links to nature and ancient pagan rites.

You can also read reviews of other titles set in the Five Realms: Uki and the Outcasts and Uki and the Swamp Spirit.