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Darkwoods Paperback – April 18, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Seventeen year old Marta Stahlfeld reads voraciously, enjoys an eclectic selection of movies, and finds WWII especially interesting--in fact, patterning Darkwoods' Ranger Mice after the U.S. Army Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc on D-day. Stahlfeld began Darkwoods at age twelve, rewrote it numerous times, and through it all, has known her future lies in a career in writing. For now, Stahlfeld lives in Seattle with her parents and brother, crafting the next tale in the Darwoods series.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Book Publishers Network; 1st edition (April 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935359770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935359777
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,752,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barbara Kinney on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Dark Woods" Is a must-read! I hope you get it in stock soon! I was able to read a copy recently. Dark Woods is slated for tweens/teens, however, as an adult Grandma and great-grandma, I found it to be a book that I could not put down - long into the night I would read this amazing tale of intrigue, battles, internal and external power struggles, reconnection of family members, good Vs. evil. The author has captured the very essence of humans, attributing humanistic traits and personas to the characters she created.
- You see, all of the characters are animals or sea creatures! You will forget this early on as they take on such human characteristics. The magical creatures, Wraith Mice who can become invisible at will, Ranger Mice who patrol the northern section of earth, Squirrels who live in tribes, otters and sea creatures and the clever Oracle Foxes - most of whom live in castles (with a few pirates and apprentices thrown in.) Read the book you will love it! Hand it down to your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids - it is indeed a 'tale worth telling.'
- Barbara Kinney
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Format: Paperback
The death of Oracle Scythe would be felt all across the land. Scythe was the one Oracle of the Darkwoods Foxes that was against warring with the other creatures in the surrounding area of the Darkwoods. With Scythe gone, the other Foxes had no more opposition to their plans of conquering all of the area, so they started their campaign to take control. Not knowing the resistance they would encounter along the way. Of all the creatures, the Wraith Mice with their magical abilities and their determined Princess Zuryzel would be the toughest to get past. Along with the other talents she possessed, Princess Zuryzel has the ability to stand as a leader for all of the animals that are put in danger by the Foxes.
Written by a seventeen year old, what a great accomplishment at such a young age. The use of the animals as the characters made visualizing each of them easy. Learning each of the tribes strengths and each person, or more to the point, characters special abilities made for an interesting adventure in itself. Learning their names and tribes and relations within the tribes was a bit laborious at first. Once the adventure started it was just as easy to forget who and what they were than it was to continue to struggle to remember it all. There was just so many characters, to many often unnecessary characters and sometimes to many details that seemed more of a tangent than important to the storyline. I had a difficult time getting into the story because of the amount of characters, but after I stopped trying to figure out how they all connected, it got a little better. The adventure and suspense of the story was interesting, the use of the animal tribes or clans made this one unique and the storytelling ability to put it all together was fairly well done.
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Format: Paperback
In this fantasy epic, mice, foxes, squirrels, and other land and sea creatures come alive in author Marta Stahlfeld's debut. Darkwoods is forever changed when Scythe, the ruling oracle of the foxes, dies, causing feuds between the tribes. With the oracle gone, the animals wonder how the foxes will react, everyone agree that a bloody war will occur. The Wraith Mice, who can turn invisible, gather the squirrel, the Ranger Mice who guard the north border, the sea creatures, and the other tribes of Earth to help defend their land. A young wraith mouse, Princess Zuryzel, carries magical powers, and she is the next to become the a great leader, but can she overcome all odds and defeat the foxes.

The Darkwoods was an interesting, fun read in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Within reading the first chapter, you will realize that the author has a creative and unique imagination. I was hooked into the book, I instantly forgot that the characters were animals. The main character Zuryzel is a strong-willed, and every reader, young and old, can relate to her. I recommend the book to everyone.
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Format: Paperback
What a wonderfully vivid world created by author Marta Stahlfield. This is a world full of talking animals embroiled in a war for survival. Foxes, squirrels, mice, otters, and other animals are brought to life in this wonderful book that has a Narnia feel to it but is uniquely its own.

With the death of the fox Oracle Scythe, the other foxes that are under the influence of the Serpent Blight have decided it is time to take over the world of Darkwoods. The other animals are fighting against this. The castle of Pasadagavra seems to be their best hope. Full of characters such as Princess Zuryzel, who is a strong female character, who not only fights for her home and friends but who is also a much respected leader of the Wraith Mice. There are also many other strong female characters on both sides of this war.

There's a lot going on in this book. Its full of all kinds of characters and in the begining its a bit difficult keeping it all straight. And I came to the conclusion that all the animals are about the same size, not like in this world where mice and foxes aren't the same size. There is also much more than just the war going on. There are issues that relate to our own world that are dealt with such as stereotyping and discrimination. There are also a bit of romance woven throughout the book but its not portrayed in such a way that younger readers would be lost.

Throughout the book there is a religious theme woven into it like with Narnia. The Bear King and the Serpent are the opposing deities and told in such a way that younger readers can relate.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that liked the Chronicles of Narnia or Redwall by Brian Jacques. Its full of well developed animal characters that make it a very fun read.
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