2012 Book 6: The Golden Tree, by Kathryn Lasky (1/9/2012)
The Golden Tree is the 12th book of the Guardians of Ga’hoole series, which I have been reading for years (long before the movie covering the first three books came out). In this book, the new king Coryn explores his identity as the possible son of a hagsfiend (an evil owl-witch). He leaves with Soren and the Band for a short adventure to distract himself from his woes, but finds more than he’d bargained for. In addition, he’s left the ember back in the Tree under the care of owls with weaker personalities than himself—leading to self-absorbed ember worship (almost akin to a criticism of organized religion?). I can’t say that this book is as good as the first 6 (which could have been a complete series in themselves), but it was cute enough. This series has a 3 book detour in the middle, and this is the first book that picks up where the story left off. Much of the book was spent reminding the reader of things that occurred before the detour, and I think that subtracted from the normal action of these books. Therefore, I only gave it 3/5 stars. However, I am curious how the story will proceed, as the series seems to have started out with themes of Cute Kids against Naughty Bad Guys (book 1), progressed to Valiant Knights against Evil Racists (books 2-8), detoured to Good vs. Evil (books 9-11), and now seems to be entering Inward-Strength vs. Inward Weakness. What next?