The midnight temple bell gave a final hum, masking the sound of Moonshadow’s landing. Its voice declared the halfway mark of the Hour of the Rat.
He crouched low on the roof, scanned the moonlit horizon ahead and listened. Before the echo of the bell died away, the tiles behind him creaked.
Moonshadow turned without a sound. His tightly bound night cowl showed only his eyes but he offered Snowhawk a smile anyway. Just a dark willowy silhouette, she returned a nod, adjusted the sword on her back, then stretched out to press an ear to the cold, curved tiles.
Moonshadow is a ninja for the ancient Japanese Grey Light Order. He was recruited as a young orphan and trained in the arts of defence, stealth and more. Moonshadow has a further talent. He can enter the mind of animals and see through their eyes. He and his friend and colleague, Snowhawk, have been assigned a mission. They are to travel to the home of the White Nun, a legendary mystic, and bring her to safety. But there are those who wish them ill. Foremost amongst them is Silver Wolf, a warlord intent on conquering all. He sets his best trained spies after Moonshadow and Snowhawk. They must fight to protect themselves and others, while respecting the guidelines of the Grey Light Order.
The Wrath of Silver Wolf is the second adventure in the Moonshadow series. A third adventure, ‘The Twilight War’ is ‘coming soon.’ Moonshadow is very skilled at the martial arts he has been taught in his time with the Grey Light Order. But he is also a teenager, with doubts about his abilities, his worthiness and his decisions. He’s also attracted to Snowhawk but wary of risking their friendship by revealing his feelings. Snowhawk has come from a rival spy network and has internal doubts of her own. Together, the two take a journey of personal growth. They explore their strengths and confront their weaknesses. The Wrath of Silver Wolf pits two young adults against the cunning and ruthlessness of the Silver Wolf and his cohort. But there are also mentors for the pair, in the White Nun and the teachers from the Grey Light Order. The setting may be ancient, but the struggles are as relevant today as ever. Recommended for upper primary and beyond.
The Wrath of Silver Wolf (Moonshadow), Simon Higgins
Random House 2009
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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