The Secret of the Wind
The Secret of the Wind

Series: Cottons Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Set in a world filled with sentient animals where magic, technology and art are used as weapons of war traces the harrowing experiences of a humble rabbit whose secret artistic magic is targeted by exploitative adversaries.
Catalog Number: #165313
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Macmillan
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 242 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-250-15744-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-15744-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017946147
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
The Cottons process carrots into "cha," the economic foundation of a rich rabbit culture. But they're threatened by the foxes who scheme to control the mines, the cha, and the Cottons' territory. In this series-starting graphic novel, mixed-media illustrations infused with an Art Deco palette and sensibility are entrancing in their detail of the complex animal world. Contextual back matter furthers the richly imagined fantasy premise.
Kirkus Reviews
Brutal foxes bid to take over a power plant run by meek rabbits in this elaborately envisioned animal fantasy.In the isolated land of Lavender, magical "cha" refined from carrots not only provides energy, but infuses art objects called "thokchas" with mystical power; it also, at least for the predatory foxes, acts as a hallucinogenic drug. In an effort to enslave the "cottons" that run the cha factory, sly silver fox Sylvan bargains with dark forces to draw the terrifying Broken Feather King down from the celestial Empyrean realm. Meanwhile Bridgebelle, an orphaned cotton who yearns to be an artist, and her increasingly close friend Glee discover that they have a key and a clue that may temporarily derail the vulpine villain's plots. Pascoe expends little effort fleshing out his characters or their daily lives but positively lavishes attention on catastrophic backstories and on the rites and beliefs of the rabbits' mystical religion. In shadowy panels (some gory, others awash in murky swirls of evil) punctuated by dazzling bursts of magical lightning, Arnhold depicts mostly realistic animals that are unclothed and, despite some distinguishing features, hard to tell apart. Monochrome pages of explication at the end fill in some gaps; future episodes may fill in more—along with kick-starting a plot that barely gets underway amid all the setup.Labored in spots but a promising kickoff carried by atmospheric art and a large, furry cast. (map, guide to world and characters) (Graphic animal fantasy. 10-13)
Publishers Weekly
In this series opener, rabbits and foxes fiercely compete to control cha, a magical crystal extracted from carrots. Just before she is killed by a fox, rabbit Soozie utters mysterious last words to her bunny friend Bridgebelle. Bridgebelle and Soozie-s brother, Glee, must puzzle out the message-s meaning about how to weaponize cha, even as they cope with their grief and trauma. Meanwhile, other rabbits are distracted by the demands of cha production, the tension throughout the Vale of Industry between the artists and miners, and the encroaching foxes looking to unleash the Black Sun to gain control of the cha. Arnhold-s depictions of the characters as anthropomorphic rabbits are emotive and believable, though the characters are not always distinct; some readers may need to consult the appendix to clarify which rabbit is which. The detailed environments and action scenes will hold readers- attention, though. With a well-paced plot that slowly unpacks numerous story lines and appendices covering history, religion, magic, and characters, this is a good choice for fans of Redwall and Mouse Guard. Ages 10-14. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 46 Bridgebelle and her fellow rabbits toil all day in the carrot factory to produce enough fuel for their world. Bridgebell dreams of joining the artists, who can create beautiful things from the fuel, or "cha." However, a clan of foxes are determined to take the cha. This is the first installment in what is sure to be a compelling series. Rich earth tones depict the rabbits' adventures, switching to metallic colors for the factory and dark grays for the home of the foxes. The panels are filled with intense action sequences that will have readers eagerly turning pages. The setting is detailed, and the rabbits have an intricate history and religion. The foxes are appropriately frightening, and the use of jewel tones to portray the cha in some panels adds to the magical fantasy atmosphere. VERDICT Give to fans of Kieran Larwood's The Gift of Dark Hollow and Brian Jacques's "Redwall" books. Jenni Frencham, formerly at Columbus Public Library, WI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (8/1/18)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 5-9
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q75066
Lexile: GN350L
Guided Reading Level: U

In the first volume of this epic new trilogy, rabbits and foxes inhabit a world where magic, technology, and art are used as weapons of war.

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