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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The back-story to Clive Woodall's sensational debut novel is nothing short of a real-life fairy tale: A grocery store produce manager writes a bedtime story for his two sons; it gets published internationally and is optioned by Disney in a million-dollar movie deal! The book -- which has been compared to Richard Adams's Watership Down and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy -- is an allegorical saga about one heroic robin's quest to save "Birddom" from a gang of power-hungry magpies bent on wiping out all other birds.
After witnessing the murder of his mate at the talons of a band of magpies, Kirrick -- the last robin left in all of Birddom -- desperately flies to Tanglewood to ask Tomar, a wise old owl, for help. Realizing that something must be done before the magpies kill off more species and upset nature's precarious balance forever, Tomar sends Kirrick on three dangerous quests to try to win the support of the falcons, the eagles, and the seabirds. Constantly hunted by the magpies, Kirrick must rely on his wits and the help of some unlikely friends to survive. But even with the support of the majestic birds of prey, can the forces of good stand up against an evil that will do anything to see every other bird destroyed?
While the novel may be deemed inappropriate by some parents of elementary-school-age children (there are a few brutally violent scenes, as well as a reference to a rape), there is no doubt that Woodall's wondrous novel will be remembered decades from now as a cherished tale filled with beloved characters and invaluable life lessons -- especially if Disney comes out with a big-budget animated motion picture. Prediction: One for Sorrow, Two for Joy will be the first book in a lengthy series, à la Brian Jacques's Redwall Abbey saga. Paul Goat Allen