Review: Lupus Rex / Author: John Carter Cash / Publisher: Ravenstone / Release Date: Out Now
Lupus Rex is a children’s book aimed at the sort of child who watches TV shows with talking animals in them and wonders why things haven’t gotten very messy very quickly. Or to put it another way, it’s a darker sort of kids book, the sort that kids tend to love and adults tend to be shocked by.
Rather than take the The Animals of Farthing Wood approach and blame external forces for all the woes inflicted upon them, Lupus Rex creates a world in which wild animals plot and scheme for domination, and in which all the problems that beset the creatures are caused by choices they make.
The story is set in a charmingly named place called Murder’s Field, which should give you a hint as to the tone of this book. Despite the name, it is an orderly sort of place; the Crow King sees that all the creatures get their share and a wary eye is kept on those who would disrupt the peace they have. The plot deals with the death of the Crow King, and the bloody consequences that ensue. This is a world in which ceremony and mysticism are everything; Cash has created a brutal mythology that compares strongly to the likes of Redwood and Watership Down. (As a side note, the author is the son of Johnny Cash, which is neither here nor there, but a handy fact for those who like to memorize music trivia). Lupus Rex is written in a steady, strongly story-driven style and it’s structured in a way that will not challenge most readers, but the content is sure to spark the imagination; though this is a children’s book, adults will also find the inhabitants of Murder Field worth getting to know.