Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: LUPUS REX by John Carter Cash!

Lupus Rex, by John Carter Cash
Ravenstone, June 2013
I was so excited when I was asked to review this book. I'm a longtime lover of Johnny Cash's music. I even did a painting of him years ago (my starving artist days), so when I was asked to review John Carter Cash's book, Johnny Cash's son, I was mega thrilled! 

John Carter Cash is a musician and a picture book writer. This is his first middle-grade novel and given how well written this debut is, I can only imagine we will see more to come by this great author.

The Summary:
Ysill and Cormo are two quail who must risk their lives when they are driven from their home by crows, and find they must make common cause with a other creatures, if they are to find safety in a world full of perils and adventure.

The crow king is dead, and in the field below all the creatures tremble as the Murder gathers to choose a new king from the rival sons Sintus, Milus and Nascus. When the crows drive everyone from the field to keep the reckoning secret, the quail Ysil, Cormo and Harlequin believe they must simply follow their elders to safety. But when the crows turn against each other, the forest becomes full of danger. In the confusion the last wolf, Asmod, shucks off his isolation and begins to raise an army to claim the kingdom for his own. As hidden truths are brought to light and enormous sacrifices are made Ysil and his friends must make an epic journey and an unthinkable alliance if the lesser animals are to survive.

What I Liked:  
Small heroes: Cash has quails fighting wolves! That right there says we are in for an epic struggle.

Great bad guy: Asmod, is an awesome bad guy wolf. If any of you have read my books, you know I like the baddies and Asmod is a villain among villains!

It real: Some might say it is a little too real, but I disagree. Animals are violent, bottom line. They don't call it the food chain for nothing.

History: Cash gives the different species their own history and tradition, which only lends to our love of these characters.

Epic Factor: This is a perfect example of an epic animal adventure that will keep kids interested.You want to see the good guys win, but you want to watch them get there too. 

Douglas Smith: Anyone recognize the style of that cover? Okay, it's the same guy who did the Wicked (Gregory Maguire) covers, Douglas Smith, one of my favorite illustrators! Extra points for that!

In Closing
If you like epic animal fantasy this is the book for you. It's full of rich characters and an inventive storyline. It's available in hardcover, paperbook, and go get it! 


John Carter Cash


  1. Wow! I had no idea her wrote. I want to start with his picture books. Thanks. Susan

    1. I know, right? I guess talent runs really deep in the Carter Cash family!! :)

  2. You were the perfect person to review this one, Hilary! If you say it's an epic animal story, I'm in. :)

  3. Finally, quail get to be heroes!

    Thanks for featuring this. Musicians seem to be great writers as well (c.f. Colin Meloy.) Can you spell e-n-v-y?

    1. I think it's that artistic side. I was a painter in my first life before I started writing. Somehow, as long as I'm creating I'm happy! ;)

  4. I'm not an animal adventure person but this story has completely drawn me in. Definitely a must read. Glad you enjoyed and it and will get a copy when I can.

    1. Sheena-kay, it's really a good book that I think most adults will enjoy, even if they aren't animal adventure buffs. :)

  5. I added it to my "To Read" Shelf on Goodreads. Thanks for sharing the pick, Hilary.

    1. Taurean, I swear to the animal fantasy lords, I thought of you while I was writing this review! Hopefully you'll love it as much as I did! :)

    2. Thanks Hilary, I'm always looking out for new voices in this area, or voices not so new, but aren't getting enough attention, like Tor Seidler, and Micheal Hoeye, instance...

      Have you read either of them yet?

      I need review some of their books soon. I just want be sure I'm doing them justice.

    3. Seidler is great!! I have yet to read Hoeye! If you want to read a really awesome AF, pick up Sharon Stewart's Raven Quest. Loved it!! I would love to see more from her! The sequel was great as well. :)


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