Guardians of Ga'Hoole
The official logo for Guardians of Ga’Hoole
|Media type||Print (Paperback and Hardback)|
|No. of books||28 (including Wolves of the Beyond)|
Guardians of Ga’Hoole is a fantasy book series written by Kathryn Lasky and published by Scholastic. The series, which was intended to end in 2008 with the publication of The War of the Ember until a prequel The Rise of a Legend was published in 2013, has a total of sixteen books. Apart from the main series there are a few more books and spin offs set in the same universe. The first three books of the series were adapted into the animated 3D film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, directed by Zack Snyder.
This series follows the adventures of Soren, a young barn owl, for the first six books, but follows Nyroc, Soren's nephew, later renamed Coryn, for books seven through eight, and twelve through fifteen. Books nine through eleven are half-prequels to the other books, following Hoole, the first king of the Ga'Hoole Tree.
In the first volume, The Capture, Soren, who lives in a nest with his parents and siblings Kludd and Eglantine in a forest kingdom called Tyto, is pushed out of the nest. (It is later revealed that he was pushed by Kludd.) When he cries out to his parents for help, Soren is found and snatched by a patrol of the evil owls from the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, or St. Aggie's. Soren and other snatched owlets are enslaved into tasks such as sorting eggs and pellets, for reasons they don't quite understand. Owls at St. Aggies are "moon blinked", a brainwashing technique caused by sleeping under the full moon and also marching under the light of the full moon and endlessly repeating their true names to forget them so as to lose sense of self and will. Soren befriends a young elf owl named Gylfie (from the desert kingdom of Kuneer), who, like him, is resistant to the moon-blinking, by staying awake during full shine, and together they plot both to discover as much as possible about the true purpose behind St. Aggie's and to escape. The two also befriend a spotted owl named Hortense. They also find a partly moon-blinked owl named Grimble, and plan to escape with Grimble's assistance. Grimble is murdered the night Soren and Gylfie escape by Skench and Spoorn. After escaping, they then meet Twilight, an orphan great grey owl who learned his survival instincts from the "Orphan School of Tough Learning", Digger, a burrowing owl, who lost his family to the St. Aggie's marauders and is extremely sensitive and philosophical, and the blind Mrs. Plithiver, Soren's former nest-maid snake. With the help of Hortense's two bald eagle friends named Streak and Zan, they kill two of St. Aggie's patrols, the cousins Jatt and Jutt. The four owls form a band and fly away in search of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, where legend says the great knight-owls live who are dedicated to doing good deeds and eventually find it. Soren later finds out that Kludd, or "Metal Beak", as he is better known, and an army of tyto owls (barn owls) are plotting to take over the entire owl universe with tytos. He is also responsible for almost brainwashing Eglantine with weird babbling about "The purity of tytos". Eglantine joins Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger in finding out more about Kludd and his army. Kludd is the leader of "The Pure Ones", an army of Tyto owls. A war then begins between the Pure Ones and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole. The army's king, Kludd, is killed by Twilight in Book 6: The Burning, but the story continues their encounters with the Pure Ones until the end of the series in the 15th book, The War of the Ember.
Books in the series
- 1. The Capture
- 2. The Journey
- 3. The Rescue
- 4. The Siege
- 5. The Shattering
- 6. The Burning
- 7. The Hatchling
- 8. The Outcast
- 9. The First Collier
- 10. The Coming of Hoole
- 11. To Be a King
- 12. The Golden Tree
- 13. The River of Wind
- 14. Exile
- 15. The War of the Ember
Legends of Ga'Hoole
The legends are a part of the Band’s experiences. A spin-off series of three books was planned, titled Legends of Ga’Hoole. However, the books were not published as a new spin-off series; instead the books were moved to the original Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, with the titles unchanged. They were numbered as books 9, 10, and 11 of the series. The advance copy editions show the subtitle on the covers, although the final editions were not released with this feature. A prologue and an epilogue was added to each book—in which Ezylryb instructs the Band to read the Legends hidden in The First Collier before dying in his hollow—so as to tie the books together with the main series. The reading of the Legends later becomes important, as they play a crucial part in Soren's mentality in The Golden Tree (the first book released right after the three Legends, which resumes the adventures of Soren and the Band).
The three books—The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole, and To Be a King—are about the legendary young king Hoole, and his mentor, the first collier, Grank, along with the pacifist Theo. Grank was the first to find the Ember of Hoole, and King Hoole was the first to find the Great Ga’Hoole Tree. Hoole came under the protection of Grank because his mother was a close childhood friend of Grank’s.
It is possible that the Legends of Ga'Hoole served as inspiration for the title of the movie adaptation Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, although the movie loosely covered only the first three books of the series and has no relation to the Legends.
- The First Collier (2006)
- The Coming of Hoole (2006)
- To Be a King (2006)
Two guide books were released to give readers more insight into the world of Hoole. They are narrated by the owl Otulissa.
Wolves of the Beyond
Wolves of the Beyond is a spin-off series that includes the daughter of Gwyndor, Gwynneth, as a main character, as well as mentioning characters (Hamish, Duncan MacDuncan, Soren, etc.) and events from the main series.
The Rise of a Legend
A 3D computer-animated film adaptation of the book was released by Warner Bros. in 2010. Zack Snyder directed the film as an animation debut with Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Barclay, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, and David Wenham voicing the characters .
- Powers, Catherine. A (21 March 2010). "Katherine Powers reviews audio books for kids". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Books — The Capture (Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Book 1)". monstersandcritics.com. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "CHILDRENS'S [sic] BEST SELLERS: April 9, 2006". New York Times. 9 April 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Bowles, Scott (4 March 2010). "First Look: Wise owls fill a fantastic world in 'Guardians'". USA Today. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Lasky, Kathryn. "Kathryn Lasky: Fiction Books". Kathryn Lasky. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Kathryn, Lasky. Guardians of Ga'Hoole #8: The Outcast. Advertisement at the back of the book.
- Kathryn, Lasky. Guardians of Ga'Hoole #10: The Coming of Hoole. p. 208.
- Star Wolf at Amazon
- Star Wolf at Barnes & Noble
- The Rise of a Legend at Walmart
- The announcement on Kathryn Lasky's website.
- Kathryn Lasky’s Official Website
- Guardians of Ga’Hoole Official Website
- Interview with Kathryn Lasky at BookReviewsAndMore.ca