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The Treekeepers Hardcover – June 23, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-A rousing, captivating story that combines action, suspense, and a host of interesting characters. Bird, a brave and independent orphan girl, travels at night to find Farwender with the hope that he can save baby Piper's life. With this action, she is introduced to a world beyond her imagination. Farwender is a leader among people loyal to the Holder, who stands for right against the evil Rendarren. He sends Bird to live with the lovely Soladin and a small group of children in a place of peace and happiness. Given a special locket containing the seed of the Tree that speaks, Bird learns that she has been chosen to carry this seed to the garden where it will be planted again. Their pleasant life ends suddenly when Soladin and Farwender are captured by Rendarren and his Searchers. Accompanied by Farwender's chimera, the children set off on a difficult, life-threatening journey in search of the place where the seed must be planted. As in the best of fantasies, the quest is full of adventure and danger, close calls, and a desperate situation before good triumphs in the end. The children are often incredibly brave and at the same time they are believable. Quotations from old "documents" of Wen at the head of chapters add to the depth of the tale and reveal how Soladin's earlier mistakes helped the forces of evil to succeed. Children will sigh with satisfaction when they finish reading this page-turner.
Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. After a baby in the village contracts an illness, Bird runs to get the wise man, Farwender. She returns not only with the man but also with a white kitten and a chimera, a beast with the head of a lion and the tail of a venomous snake. Unfortunately, Bird's standing by and watching Farwender administer a forbidden healing liquid to the child puts her life in great danger. The wise man takes her to a remote cottage, where she becomes part of a family that includes three orphans, and where she discovers that she is the prophesied Opener Child, the only person able to open the locket containing the last seed of the sacred Tree That Speaks. On a rampage through the countryside that killed many people, including children, the evil ruler Rendarren destroyed the tree. Now, Rendarren is after Bird. This riveting first novel not only enriches the traditional conventions of the fantasy genre but also conveys a strong sense of human frailty, determination, and courage as it follows Bird and her companions in their hazardous quest to defeat Rendarren and plant the seed that will "wake the Tree to life again" and restore the land. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1 edition (June 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525469443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525469445
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,132,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Treekeepers is one of the best fantasy novels I have read. Susan McGee Britton's use of language is captivating. The closest match I could name would be Tolkien, but Britton's writing style is fresh and unique. It is not a pale imitation of Tolkien, as so many fantasies seem to be. The "quotations" at the beginning of each chapter are poetic and fascinating.
Bird, Dren, Farwender, Soladin and the other characters quickly became real people to me as I read. Although a fantasy, I was caught up in their courage, fear, love, anger and jealousy. I found myself caring deeply about them, and what happened to them. Again, I compare this to so many fantasies whose characters seem wooden or cartoonish.
The story itself was fascinating, with numerous subplots woven in. Britton created a unique world, yet as I read I was constantly reminded of the struggles, betrayals and adventures we experience in our world. Her characterization of the evil king Rendarren was great, and I thought the scenes with Sebeelyo and Benwin were extraordinary.
This book stands by itself. The ending was unexpected and satisfying, but enough mysteries were hinted at to make me hope a sequel is in the works.
I agree with Booklist (American Library Association) and the School Library Journal: This book is riveting and believable, enriching the traditional conventions of the fantasy genre.
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By A Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I wanted Treekeepers to go on forever--I couldn't put it down. The story is told in a vivid way that makes it more like watching a movie than reading a book. The main character is an orphan girl named Bird who thinks of herself as tough and brave, which she is. But she also has a tender heart. As she battles her way through life, looking for her father and a way to heal her land, her heart slowly grows in tenderness. She finds people she can love--and who love her. But also, she fails miserably in her quest, until in the end, well, you have to read the book. There is something comforting about the way this story is told. It's like being wrapped up in a warm blanket in front of a fire on a cold night. I will soon be 40, but I still crave such stories.
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Format: Hardcover
I live with a thirst that is seldom quenched, a hunger that is nearly impossible to satisfy. At the age of ten, I began reading the greats of fantasy - T.H. White, Lloyd Alexander, Tolkein, Lewis, etc. - and so developed a taste for tales of other, magic worlds. Those authors fully removed me from earth and placed me elsewhere, enthralling me with their rich, powerful works. Since then, I have not stopped questing for works of similar power, but the pickings have been slim. It is with great pleasure, then, that I read Britton's work: here, finally, is another volume to add to the list of treasured fantasies that I read and re-read through the years.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book, and I can not stop thinking about it. Both my daughters have read it and could not put the book down. As a Christian, I loved all the symbolism. The thalasse makes me think of the Holy Spirit, the "mark" all believers bare. It is nice to be able to read this book as a great fantasy, but also enjoy its deeper meanings.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I both read The Treekeepers and enjoyed everything about it. The writing, the characters, the story, the emotion. It was an amazing first novel and one that neither of us wanted to put down. Here's hoping for more from Susan Britton, and a sequel of The Treekeepers.
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