I read the Deptford Histories and the Deptford Mice trilogies by Robin Jarvis because they are about animals, and I figured they would be pretty cute books. Was I wrong or was I wrong?
Here’s an example:
The second book of the Deptford Histories brings readers into a time when a series of dark wars between the bats and the squirrels has raged for years. The squirrel leader, the Starwife, has been betrayed and poisoned. As she lies dying, she summons a falcon to take the magic Silver Acorn to safety. Far away, the squirrel maiden Ysabelle is unaware of the devastating events. But she rescues the Silver Acorn and embarks on a perilous journey to return it. Along the way, she meets Vespertilio, a young bat who has dreamed of waging battle against the squirrels.
In this gripping prequel to the Deptford Mice trilogy, the battle of good and evil reaches new heights as Vesper and Ysabelle desperately attempt to save their lands from destruction. -The Oaken Throne
Sounds innocent enough, right?
Not so much. Robin Jarvis’ stories border on total dark fantasy, and are definitely waaay too intense for the age I was when I read these (which was not too long ago to be honest).
These books start out pretty normally (or as normal as a fantasy kingdom inhabited by rodents can get), and everything is happy-until tragedy strikes. And believe me, unlike most of the other books I have reviewed, tragedy is more like “rip your world apart until you’re a mess of tears” tragedy, rather than “oh my god I’m being attacked” tragedy. These books managed to bring out every single emotion possible. You are laughing one minute, yelling one minute, screaming one minute, and crying the next minute.
The best and worst things about these is that they never have a happy ending. Never. Every single one ends in betrayal or death. And the worst part is that it is usually the main character, which means that you are just like “What. Just. Happened.”
I can tell you that I sobbed for an hour straight after reading The Oaken Throne, and I kept turning the pages to see if there was something more gratifying, like an epilogue. I never found one. I still tear up when I think about them.
As sad as they are, there is also no way I can deny that these are absolutely fabulous books. The quality of writing is amazing, and you really get sucked into the story. Which makes the fall much worse.
So don’t read them unless you’re prepared to get your heart shattered forever.