Urchin and the Heartstone is the second book of the Mistmantle Chronicles, written by M. I. McAllister.
Urchin has always been different, with his unusually pale fur. Now because of it, a battered ship of animals from another island have come to take him as their deliverer based on an old prophecy. No one else wants Urchin to go, but he is suddenly kinapped to meet their crazed false king who suffers from greed. Urchin is faced with the challenge of meeting the king's wild demands or become an evil sorceror's next kill. All looks hopeless for him, but there may be some friends to help. Back home, the Heartstone for Crispin's coronation is lost. The animals must find it for Crispin to ever be crowned, and some say Crispin will also need a wife. Plots are discovered and pasts revealed in this tale of Mistmantle's mysterious hero.
The Mistmantle books are wonderful books for anyone who is a Redwall fan. The books don't have as many different types of animals, or distinctive types of animals to be inclined toward good or evil, but some think that's a good thing. There's less adventure and action, but it is definitely something that anyone could be proud to own on their bookshelf, or always wish they did. The characters are meaningful and strong, especially when Urchin makes a choice that doesn't seem right at the time because it endangered his life, but he makes it to help his friends. In the end, this helped everybody, and stopped many innocent lives from being wiped out. The Heart can be said to be a good deity for the animals, since it shows the positive effects of a good religion on a population. Its spiritual followers are some of Urchin's best friends and praying helps many of the characters in times of trouble. The Mistmantle books also show the horrors of evil hearts and magic. Anyway, an excellent book!
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The book mentions characters drinking wine. There is a very brief mention of one of the characters being pregnant and then giving birth behind the scenes. The good creatures pray to The Heart, which gives them the Mists and a Heartstone. There is also an evil creature who has become a sorceror. He kills other characters to pull them apart and use them for spells.
- Island of Ashfire
- Island of Mistmantle
- Anemone Wood
- Falls Cliffs
- Mistmantle Tower
- Gathering Chamber
- Throne Room
- North Corner
- Rough Rocks
- Spring Gate
- Watchtop Hill
- Island of Whitewings
- The Fortress
- Mountains (Eagle Crag, Claw Crag, Beacon Top)
The Heart is ever watching its followers and adversaries hereafter described...
- King Brushen
- Gorsen (Gorsen the Gorgeous)
- Mother Huggen
- King Silverbirch (Shining Majesty of the Splendor of Silver)
- Lord Treeth
- Captain Lugg
- Captain Arran
- Captain Padra
- Lady Aspen
- Brother Candle
- Brother Fir
- Brother Flame
- Granite (Lord Marshal)
- Captain Husk
- Urchin (Urchin of the Riding Stars, Urchin of Mistmantle, Urchin the Freak)
- King Brooken
- Sister Tellin
- Apple's apple and mint cordial tastes terrible, but it keeps away pests.
- "...A time would come when the creatures of Whitewings would be in great need. A squirrel would come to our help, and be the island's deliverer. This deliverer would be a Marked Squirrel." An Ancient Prophecy of Whitewings
- "He will bring down a great ruler." Smokewreath, about Urchin
- "Over the water/ The Secret will bring them/ Moonlight, Firelight/ The Holy and the True/ The Secret will draw them home." Brother Fir
- There is a game similar to hide and seek, called "Find the Heir of Mistmantle".
- There is also a game similar to Connect Four or tic-tac-toe, called First Five.
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