The Dark Portal (Book One of the Deptford Mice Trilogy)

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9781587171123: The Dark Portal (Book One of the Deptford Mice Trilogy)
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In the British tradition of Redwall comes this first novel of a trilogy that is sure to capture fans both young and old. In the sewers of Deptford, there lurks a dark presence that fills the tunnels with fear. The rats worship it in the blackness and name it "Jupiter, Lord of All." Into this twilight realm wanders a small and frightened mouse-the unwitting trigger of a chain of events that hurtles the Deptford mice into a world of heroic adventure and terror.

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About the Author:

Robin Jarvis worked in television and advertising before becoming a full-time author and illustrator. His first book, The Dark Portal, was short-listed for the 1989 Smarties Book Prize in England. Mr. Jarvis currently lives in London.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9-This animal adventure tale pits a varied cast of mice against sewer-dwelling rats. Commanded by an evil creature named Jupiter, the rat hordes labor on a huge tunnel that will somehow bring their leader great power. Several mice are drawn into the sewer and eventually work together to thwart the project. With multiple protagonists, the action gets disjointed at times. Brave young Audrey gets captured early on, and doesn't reappear until several chapters later, detracting from the tension of her plight. Some characters, like Audrey's brother Arthur, are not developed beyond some basic traits. The action alternates between various mice trying to rescue Audrey and the terrible rats who are caught up in Jupiter's scheme and their own wicked designs. Jupiter himself is a compelling villain, never seen by even his closest henchman, whose magical powers increase as his evil plan unfolds. The best scenes in the novel involve danger and action, often with gruesome details. The rats not only kill mice, they skin and eat them, so the narrow escapes and close calls are exciting, especially the final scene in which the mice finally battle Jupiter. Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel) is more tightly plotted and Kenneth Oppel's "Silverwing" books (S & S) are more suspenseful, but The Dark Portal will appeal to fans of both.
Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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