Endling: Book Two: The First


Byx has found a substitute family in her band of travellers. She marvels at the courage of Tobble, little wobbyk, trusts the honour and stealth of Gamble, the large felivet, and loyal Dog. Byx wonders at the agility and speed of Renzo, the magical thief. Yet her greatest awe is reserved for Khara, daughter and heir to the Donati clan. She finds herself lacking as last, loneliest dairnie runt and recalls her father’s words, ‘Feel fear, choose courage. That’s what makes a leader, pups.’ Can Byx ever be a leader?

In ‘Endling: Book Two: The First’ Byx’s leadership skills are put to the test as she and her clan could never have imagined. Her band is  fully supportive of her need to follow up legendary rumours of a dairnie pack that live on a floating island to the far north. Travelling there is beset with dangers, from razorgulls, to worms, bribed by food to work for the ruthless Kazar Sg’drit. The troupe realise the forces of war are gathering. The landscape is changing and fear is rife. Will Byx reach her island target? What might she discover should she arrive?

The first title of this series, Endling: The Last is one of my favourite books of 2018. The rich parallels of environmental and moral concerns are drawn skilfully by acclaimed writer Katherine Applegate. In this sequel, she ramps up the adventure, the sense of distance, the call to courage. Can Byx realise and use her own strengths? Is the band tight and resolute? Who is the enemy? What lies ahead? Who can be trusted?


Endling: Book Two: The First

Katherine Applegate

(Andersen Press)

Byx, the sole survivor of her dairnie pack is following stories of a hidden pack on a floating island far to the north. As a result of betrayal, attack and the emergence of a band, she is accompanied on her venture. We know this company well from our gripping introduction in Endling: The Last. While we understand Byx’s reason for her pursuit, we learn the motivations of each of the other adventurers, especially Khara, leader in waiting to the Donati.
Yet the band are hunted by the Murdano who seek to exterminate rare species like Byx. They burn with a lust for power. Ahead lie the warring factions of Kazar Sg’drit and the forces of the Nedarra. Do Byx and her band continue? Have they the individual skills and collective strengths to overcome unknown dangers in their search of safety, peace and home?


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