E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (The Guardians Series #2)by William Joyce
Pitch, the Nightmare King, and his Fearlings had been soundly driven back by Nicholas St. North and company in the first Guardians’ adventure. But now Pitch has disappeared completely—and/b>
Forget the bunny trail.…In this addition to the groundbreaking series from the legendary William Joyce, Guardian E. Astor Bunnymund is on the warpath.
Pitch, the Nightmare King, and his Fearlings had been soundly driven back by Nicholas St. North and company in the first Guardians’ adventure. But now Pitch has disappeared completely—and out of sight does NOT make for out of mind. It seems certain that he’s plotting a particularly nefarious revenge, and the Guardians suspect he might have gone underground. But how can they find him there?
Enter E. Aster Bunnymund, the only emissary of the fabled brotherhood of the Pookas—the league of philosophical warrior rabbits of imposing intellect and size. Highly skilled in martial arts (many of which he invented himself), Bunnymund is brilliant, logical, and a tunnel-digger extraordinaire. If the Guardians need paths near the Earth’s core, he’s their Pooka. He’s also armed with magnificent weapons of an oval-sort, and might just be able to help in the quest for the second piece of the Moonclipper.
This second book in The Guardians series is about much more than fixing a few rotten eggs—it brings the Guardians one step closer to defeating Pitch!
"Children will read and reread the story to enjoy all the nuances of this plot-driven fantasy with strong visual imagery. Joyce’s fans are sure to welcome his newest offering."
SLJ, June 2012
- Atheneum Books for Young Readers
- Publication date:
- William Joyce's Guardians Series , #2
- Sold by:
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- 790L (what's this?)
- File size:
- 12 MB
- This product may take a few minutes to download.
- Age Range:
- 7 - 11 Years
Read an Excerpt
We Begin Our Story with a Story
IN THE HINTERLANDS OF eastern Siberia was the village where Katherine, North, and Ombric called home. The village of Santoff Claussen felt somewhat lonely without them, but a dozen or so adventurous children played in the enchanted forest that protected their homes from the outside world. The surrounding oak trees were among the largest in the world. Their massive trunks and limbs were a paradise for climbing.
Petter, a strong boy of twelve who imagined himself a daring hero, catapulted onto the porch of his favorite tree house. He landed just ahead of his little sister, Sascha. She was testing her latest invention: gloves and shoes that allowed her to scamper up a tree, like a squirrel. But Petter’s catapult was faster.
“I’ll beat you next time,” Sascha said, hoping that a small engine on the heel of each shoe would do the trick.
She peered down at the clearing hundreds of feet below. The village’s bear, a massive creature, loped around the perimeter of the clearing along with Petrov, the horse of Nicholas St. North. Sascha was wondering if she’d ever be allowed to ride Petrov when she spied Tall William, the first son of Old William, squatting on his heels, talking to a group of centipedes. The children of Santoff Claussen had begun to learn the easier insect languages (ant, worm, snail), but Tall William was the first to tackle the more difficult speech of centipede. Sascha pressed a trumpet-shaped sound amplifier to her ear.
Tall William reported what the centipedes said, that all was well—Pitch, the Nightmare King, was nowhere to be seen. It was a warm summer day, but the memory of that terrible time when Pitch appeared in Santoff Claussen made Sascha shiver as if it were the darkest night in deepest winter.
Pitch had once been a hero of the Golden Age, an ancient time when Constellations ruled the universe. His name in those days long ago was General Kozmotis Pitchiner, and he had led the Golden Age Armies in capturing the Fearlings and Dream Pirates who plagued that era. These villains were wily creatures of darkness. When they escaped, they devoured the general’s soul, and from that moment on, he hungered for the dreams of innocent children and was known simply as “Pitch.” He was determined to drain the good from dreams until they became nightmares—every last one of them—so that the children of Earth and then other worlds would live in terror. And the dreams of the children of Santoff Claussen—who had never before known fear or wickedness—were the prizes he coveted most.
Sascha, like the other children of Santoff Claussen, had survived that terrifying night when Pitch’s Fearlings had nearly captured them in the enchanted forest, thanks to a glimmering boy with a moonlit staff who drove back the inky marauders.
Now she climbed out onto a branch and hung by her knees, still holding the ear trumpet. The world looks different upside down, but it sounds the same, she thought.
Sascha listened once more, then lowered the sound amplifier. The insects had said all was well. Even so, what if Pitch and his Fearlings come back again? She frowned, but before that thought could darken her mood, Petter called out for a new contest. “Race you to the clearing!” he shouted, leaping for the nearest branch.
Scrambling down the tree, Sascha’s shoes and gloves now gave her the advantage. She landed proudly in front of Tall William and his brother William the Almost Youngest. Her own brother was still half a tree behind.
She was about to brag about her victory when she spotted the stone elves hunkered amidst the vines and trees. There were at least ten statues in total, and they made for an eerie and unsettling sight, some with arms raised, swords at the ready; others frozen in midscream.
They were Nicholas St. North’s band of outlaws, turned to stone by the Spirit of the Forest. The Spirit had spared North for he alone was true of heart. Rejecting her offer of riches, he had gone to the village’s rescue when Pitch attacked again. He then decided to stay in Santoff Claussen, and became their wizard Ombric Shalazar’s apprentice.
The Spirit of the Forest was just one of the magical barriers their wizard had devised to protect the village when he first created it. He’d also conjured up a hundred-foot-tall hedge, the great black bear the size of a house, and the majestic oaks that blocked the advance of anyone who tried to enter Santoff Claussen with ill intent. But none of these had been able to protect the children from the shadows and Fearlings at Pitch’s command.
Petter and his friend Fog began crossing stick swords with each other, acting out the battle that took place when Nicholas St. North had come face-to-face with Pitch.
Everything they knew and loved had seemed lost until North had galloped up to the rescue on Petrov. Though badly wounded, North had been able to drive Pitch away, but the children all worried that the Nightmare King would return. At this very moment Ombric, North, and their friend Katherine were far from Santoff Claussen, searching for the weapon—some sort of relic!—that would conquer Pitch forever.
The youngest William was near tears. “I’m afraid. Pitch told us he would come back.”
“North, Ombric, and Katherine will find a way to stop him,” Petter told him reassuringly.
William the Absolute Youngest wasn’t entirely convinced. “But Pitch’s magic is strong. What if it’s stronger than Ombric’s?”
“What does Ombric always say?” Petter asked.
The youngest William thought for a moment, then his eyes grew bright. “Magic’s real power is in believing,” he proclaimed, clearly pleased to remember Ombric’s very first lesson.
And he began to chant. “I believe! I believe! I believe!”
Sascha joined in. “I believe! I believe! I believe Katherine and North and Ombric will come home!”
© 2012 William Joyce
Meet the Author
William Joyce’s books include George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob, Santa Calls, The Man in the Moon, and Nicholas St. North and the Nightmare King. He’s won three Emmy Awards for his Rolie Polie Olie animated series; he’s developed character concepts for Toy Story and A Bug’s Life; and his films include Robots and Meet the Robinsons. He’s currently co-directing the DreamWorks Animation release of Rise of the Guardians (Fall 2012). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.
William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; Dinosaur Bob; Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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My 11 year old daughter read both #1 & 2 in the Guardian series and loved them both. She is not a huge reader but read these both within a few days of getting her hands on them. Would recommend for both boys and girls.
I highly recmend it
So, I get that rise of the guardians is an awesome movir,(I love it myself) but why couldn't they keep the creativity? This puts a whole new spin on bunnymund.( again, nothing bad to say about ROTG.)
This book was a rollercoaster for my imagination! I utterly want ludicrous over it. If you do not appreciate this wonderful contribution of wonder to the world, i am very sorry to say that you have no imagination whatsoever.
Best of the series by far, more than enough action, adventure, and best of all, silliness! A novel to read!
It was wonderful, I loved the conflict between North and Bunnymund, and I loved Bunnymund's obsession with chocolate and eggs. Also, this had a great plot, with spine - tingling suspense, edge - of - your - seat action, and a little bit of humor; making it a great book for all ages.
This book may seen like a children's book, but een at my age i enjoyed it vary much. The book kept pulling me in, and testing my imagenation. I also liked how easy a read it was. This book would be good for a 7, 15, 30, or 90 year old.
I think this book was really really good. I would recomend this book to anyone that likes a adventure story with some action and suspense. This bookhas some hints of sadness in it though. SPOILER ALERT!!! The book is about Toothiana who is half bird half human, her mom was a Siister of Flight which is an immortal race of winged woman. Her dad was a human and Toothiana's mom lost her wings and went to live with the humans. Everything is going well until Toothiana lost her last baby tooth and she sprouted wings... END SPIOLER ALERT! Sorry to those who have not read the book yet in nook book form or in printed form!:(
Jack looked on in worry of the girl he had met in the forest. Her skin was pale, as if fear held her in a vice and wouldn't let go. She and Jack were in North's home and headquarters, the North Pole. Jack had hoped that his friends would help him, but until she awoke, there was nothing he or his friends could do but wait. Suddenly she stirred. Her eyes fluttered open, and she moaned, "Where...am I?" Jack, in both relief and concern, said, "You're at the Pole. What's your name?" The girl sat up and said, "Tracy. I--!" Suddenly her face showed an expression similar to one who had seen the utmost horror. Her eyes became completely black, seemingly made of the same granules of sand that made up the night-wolf that bit her. She screamed in pure terror, and she pushed Jack away, saying, "Get away from me, you monster!" Jack, puzzled, stepped in front of Tracy and said, "Tracy, it's ok, it's me, Jack!" The horror-striken girl pushed Jack out of her way and ran out the door. North, Sandy, and Tooth, who has heard the commotion, ran over and saw her run out the open door and out into the freezing northern climate. --------------------------------------------- Tracy saw nothing but terror. She watched as Jack turned into a monster of unspeakable terror, and everything around himturned to fire and thorns and other horrible things. Everything was either red or black, and fire was everywhere. She saw little demons at she ran out the door, away from that place. But as she went out the door, nothing was outside but more fear. Everything, wherever she went, was fear. She bumped into a figure, a tall figure with grey skin and black hair and eyes that promised nightmares and fear and all things terrifying. He said to her, "Hello, darling. My, what a pretty girl you are." Tracy knew his smooth talk was just a front. "What do you want?" He smiled a smile that was clearly not intended to be kind. "My name is Pitch. Some call me The Boogy Man. And what do I want, my dear?" His smile turned into a ugly snarl. "I want you." ------------------------------------------------ Jack, Tooth, Sandy, North, and now Bunny had been searching for quite a while now. It was getting late, and the Guardians had responsibilities they needed to do. Jack was worried. What was happening to her now? What happened to her at the Pole? Was she hurt? Lost? Suddenly he saw black sand, hardly noticable in the white snow. Nearby were signs of a struggle. Jack called out, "I found something!" The other Guardians came running. Tooth looked at the grains and immediately knew they came from Pitch. Then something caught her eye and she remarked, "Guys, look at this." She flew over to the spot, where black sand formed letters in the frozen water. They spelled a message so simple, yet filled each of the Guardians' hearts with dread and worry. No one else could have written it; it had to have been Pitch. The message read, "You want her? Come and get her." Nearby, there was a trail, as if something was dragged a short distance before being loaded onto something else. Bunny grimaced. "You know what this means, don't you?" North nodded. Jack nodded as well and said, "Tracy has been kidnapped by The Boogy Man." ------------------ Part one is at Rise of the Guardians Movie Novelization, part two is at Nicolas St. North by William Joyce, and part four will be at Toothiana by William Joyce. Tell me what you think. No bad language, please!