Ash almost dropped the rock in surprise. Although it looked and felt smooth, like polished marble, the rock radiated warmth.
What sort of rock makes heat? he wondered.
Ash turned the rock over in his hands. It felt light and rather hollow and was the size and shape of a honeydew melon, with swirls of ebony and violet covering its smooth surface.
“Surely something so perfectly formed can’t be a rock?” he murmured.
Ash Rover is a poor cowherd, but he dreams of doing something important with his life. One day as he dreams, he is hit on the head by what he first thinks is a rock. When he realises the rock has something magical about it, he takes care of it – but doesn’t realise just what kind of adventures it will lead to. The rock is in cat a phoenix egg and when it hatches, Ash becomes the keeper of the phoenix.
Soon Ash and his friends are on a dangerous journey to protect the phoenix and also save his family, and their whole village. he must outwit wily griffins, an evil king who wants immortality and even rogue unicorns.
Ash Rover: Keeper of the Phoenix is the first in a new series featuring an intrepid and unlikely hero. A wonderful blend of action and humour, in a fantasy setting which young readers will enjoy, Ash Rover will appeal to middle and upper primary aged readers, who will look forward to further adventures in the series.
Ash Rover: Keeper of the Phoenix, by Aleesah Darlison
Walker Books, 2014
Available from good bookstores and online.