Sadly, I did not have time to take a picture of me holding my signed copy of The King of the Trees (thanks Miss Kitty and Grandma!!!), so I am using the picture Goodreads uses. It’s the one that shows the cover in the best light. Thanks to the author, Mr. Burt, for recommending this to me. I might not have found it if he hadn’t told me about it. 🙂
“Good day to you, Sister,” Gannon grunted, gritting his teeth and clenching the reins in a white-knuckled grip. “May you live to see your great-grandchildren, and may your eyes never grow dim!” Rolin stifled a snicker. His spinster aunt was childless, and her eyesight was poor from years of needlework.
The main character for this story is a boy named Rolin, he is the son of a bee keeper called Gannon (not Gannondorf from the Legend of Zelda games). Rolin lives alone in a cabin with his father, since his Grandmother Adelka and his mother Janna both died. The circumstances were mysterious though, Adelka ran off into the woods when people started chopping down the beech grove where she had lived when she first appeared around Beechtown. Janna died in that same grove, after telling Rolin and Gannon to mind the box and the beech tree she’d planted in the front yard. The box that Adelka had owned was lost for a time, and the beech tree was gnawed down by a beaver.
Rolin rediscovers the box at the start of the book, and takes what looks like some odd sort of medalion from it, and decides to wear it when they go to market. He leaves the box behind, and they set out. When they run into Rolin’s aunt, she starts arguing with Gannon about how he should live in town and get a new wife so that Rolin has a mother. Rolin goes off in search of some mushrooms to give them time, and after reporting back, went off to look at “starglasses” (telescopes). When the lense accidentally fell out of one and he went to pick it up, the “medalion” fell out of his shirt and he suddenly had Greencloaks (odd men who everyone had as little to do with as possible) chasing him.
A man in white appears and leads him to a tree, and climbs up it. When he doesn’t reappear, Rolin considers going home. Instead, his curiosity gets the better of him and he climbs it. When he climbs down, he finds himself in fog, with the only tree he can recognize being the one he climbed. This is where the story really takes off, in my opinion. Rolin meets two Greencloaks who decide to take him to someone called Bembor. On the way, they save him from something that is a mix of bat and wolf, a yeg (the full name was yeggorin I think).
As the story progresses, Rolin learns he is in another world, called Lucambra (his own being Thalmos), and he reached it with a torsil tree. To get into the valley where the oak clan lived safely, they used a tara-torsil (made when you split a torsil tree acorn in half and plant the halves at different locations). The overall idea is that Rolin is the heir of the last Lucumbrian king, the last true one at any rate. The current man who calls himself king is a sorcerer with an ashtag as a sythan-ar (a life tree), and he wants to destroy all the torsil worlds he discovers. He’s a good villain, and the way he disappears at the end of the book leaves you with the question of whether or not he’s actually dead. Even though the sorcs (griffins) weren’t there immediately, I still liked the first part. How they found the clapper for the bell that would summon the sorcs to Hallowfast was amusing. To me, if not to anyone else. Out of all the sorcs in there, Windsong and Ironwing (the ones we see the most of) are my favorites. I even like them better than the king of the sorcs! Though if I actually met him in person, I might have to say otherwise to save myself. I love a lot of books, and this isn’t as long as some I’ve read, but it’s going onto my shelf of favorites, and could stand alone as far as I am concerned (lots of books that stand alone have endings where you are left wondering about things). This book actually makes me interested in finding out how to identify different trees (because if I don’t, whenever I think “forest”, I’ll probably think up a whole army of pine trees), and it made me relatively interested in bee keeping. I don’t like bees, yet I’m interested in bee keeping? Does that make me a hypocrite?
In the short, “non-professional”, review I dashed off on Goodreads upon finishing the book (I’ll be putting it in italics when I’m finished with this one), I compared the writing of The King of the Trees to J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. Now however, I’m not sure who to compare it to. It is like, yet unlike, plenty of pretty extraordinary books I’ve read by wonderful authors, but doesn’t really seem to fit in enough with any one style enough to be compared to it the way that I think it should be.
If I am correct, the language the Lucumbrians use is Welsh. I looked up a couple of the phrases and words on Google (“what does such and such mean?”) and so far, most of them came up as Welsh to English. There was a whole Prophecy which the Tree of Life (the name started with a W….) made, and helped fullfill. I find the idea of trees being sentient; very, very cool. Yes I’ve read about sentient trees in lots of different books, but different authors have different ways of describing the ways trees talk. The way Mr. Burt did it has to be one of my favorites. The ashtag’s personalities in particular were interesting, as was the idea of trees falling asleep in winter. Yes I know that they lose their leaves and don’t grow during winter, but still! The idea that if they had minds, they would be sleeping in winter, still amazed me.
So I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read with griffins in it, and Prophecies that have the creator of all life coming and talking to the main hero. Or even if they’re just looking for a good book and don’t enjoy fantasy, I’d still recommend it. XD
THE OTHER REVIEW! 😀
My favorite characters had to be the griffins, Opio, Rolin, and Gannon, though the warbler was also very amusing. My aunt bought a signed copy of the book for me, and when she left, I started reading. I still haven’t had sleep, but it was worth it. This book is a real page turner, and once I’ve let my grandmother finish reading it, I am going to lend it to a friend of mine immediately. The plot was freaking fantastic, and the writing was really good. At first, I would have compared it to J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien, but now I’m not sure who I could compare it to. In my humble opinion, it’s a must read! Now I must figure out how to get my hands on a copy of the next book A.S.A.P. If nothing else is available, I just might have to steal it. XD
I don’t think my parents would be too happy with me if I decided to steal it. 😛 Though if I was stealing it (a.k.a. borrowing) from a friend or from the shelf of a family member, I don’t think they’d mind. 😉 So that’s that review for The King of the Trees! Hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it convinced you to read Mr. Burt’s book. And if you’re on Goodreads, become a fan of his! I honestly don’t think he has enough on there.
Talk to you all later!