Review Blog

Jun 11 2008

The last elf by Silvana de Mari

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Bloomsbury, 2007.
(Age 10+) Yorsh is a little elf who lives in a world that is drowning. After the death of his grandmother he realises that he must leave the Camp and find somewhere dry before he dies. Sheltering with a woman and her dog, and joined by a hunter, Yorsch comes across a prophesy: 'When the last dragon and the last elf break the circle, the past and the future will meet, the sun of a new summer will shine in the sky.' Yorsh, convinced that he is the last elf, decides to set out on a quest in search of the last dragon.

De Mari builds this story with a deft hand. Action and adventure fill the pages and the characters are original and vivid. The reader aches for Robi, the daughter of Yorsch's rescuers, left half starved and overworked in a grim orphanage and identifies with the plight of Yorsch, left to look after a huge baby dragon.

Filled with gentle humour and play on words, this book would be excellent to read aloud. It is an intelligent and enthralling fantasy, with many ideas for the reader to digest, such as the persecution of a minority race, the abuse of power and what types of laws a new country should have.
Pat Pledger

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