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I Don't Want To Read High Rhulain!: Part II
Before I begin the main part of the article, I'll attempt to answer some of your (an impersonal your, meaning all of you, including, but not limited to, Severan) questions regarding this slightly offbeat review series. First off, Saarh Jevsa wants to know what the whole controversy regarding the word "Groff" is. What, she queries, makes it that different from other verminish prefixes, such as "Blag?" Well, simply put, nobody knows what a Groff is, and everybody who's anybody knows that "Blag" is British slang for a robbery or theft. There's an astronomical difference, and that's that, so let's move on. Rabb Streambattle wondered exactly why it was that I "did not want to read High Rhulain". To this I'll simply say that I haven't read High Rhulain, thus any reviews reflecting actual events in the book are simply figments of an overworked imagination.
Now that we've cleared that up, I humbly present "I Don't Want to Read High Rhulain! Book II."
When we last visited Tiria Wildlough and her friends, she had just been told for the nth time that she is a reincarnation of the High Queen Rhulain and is supposed to go to Green Isle, which is ruled by the iron paw of Riggu Felis, the latter who is presently cooking up a scheme to wipe out the outlaw otters living on his island. Felis fights the otters, who courageously run for their lives. Completely derailing any former perceptions we had of Riggu's intelligence (or lack thereof) he secretly takes most of his cats to the shoreline where he intends to eke out retribution against the outlaws by slaying their families.
While this is going on, Riggu's son Pitru takes over the fortress and admits to disliking Atunra the pine marten. A cat named Yund doesn't like her either.
Leatho and his band stop running and kill some cats. Before he dies, one notably loyal cat soldier divulges Felis's evil plan, and the otters rush back to save their families.
Tiria and Pandion leave the Abbey, which makes Brantalis happy. Tiria leaves behind a note saying that she's the High Rhulain and that she has to go to Green Isle. The Abbeybeasts are surprised to discover this, for some reason. Tiria goes off to meet the Guosim, who obligatorily explain what their acronym stands for, lest young impressionable children get it in their heads that putting u's before o's is acceptable literary practice. (Either that, or so the otters will stop calling them the "Get Under Our Shrews' Immoral Maxims" tribe.) Tiria demonstates the importance of humility by challenging and defeating the Guosim's best slinger.
The otter families survive, and go off to a new holt, rather than doing something foolish like, oh, say, leaving the island.
Riggu gets angry. Pitru stands up to him, sniveling with both barrels and hiding behind his mother. Riggu discovers that Atunra is missing.
The Abbeybeasts attempt to solve a riddle. They find a secret note from Martin the Warrior carved into Brother Bundrol's peg leg which says that Tiria is the High Rhulain and must go to Green Isle. (Well, not really. But they do find another book.)
Tiria and the Guosim sail in boats. Then they see a ship and light a fire. That night, a hare with multiple personality disorder comes and eats their food. Then they continue onward.
The otters walk past the Deeplough and feed a rock to a sea monster. Atunra remains missing.
While reading the book, the Abbeybeasts discover that an otter named Rhulain was the High Rhulain, and that she had to leave Green Isle. Her ship was wrecked and she was killed by cats. It also says that there's a lance and crown somewhere around the Abbey. The Dibbuns steal the Geminya tome and attempt to sail it in the pond, something they obviously learned from the Guosim. Reprimanding them for this behavior, the Abbess sets a good example by insulting sister Geminya vehemently.
The hare with multiple personalities, presently calling himself Cuthbert, decides that Tiria's name is Tillie. Tiria dares to disagree and is almost thrown overboard. Then they see Salamandastron and their squabble is temporarily forgotten.
Leatho, Kolun and a female otter named Banya find out that they're being followed.
The cats chortle and report that the otters have no idea they're being followed.
Pitru reinforces his earlier bravery by making fun of his father. Kaltag is angry that Riggu is angry that Atunra is missing. This makes Riggu angrier, then he gets hit in the head with a stone. Pitru goes to attack the slinger.
Leatho gets caught. The cats then achieve victory/defeat equilibrium by shooting eight of their comrades. This makes Riggu angry (which seems to be happening a great deal of late) and so he beats up Pitru, which makes Kaltag angry.
Abbess Lycian, in addition to the examples of good behavior she's already provided, teaches us about gossip by grumbling angrily to anyone who will listen about how annoying Old Quelt is. Old Quelt shows up and they go to the attic. Confusion ensues when a passage in the Tome reveals that Old Quelt is the High Rhulain and must go to Green Isle, but this is eventually realized to be a typo.
Having found their way to Salamandastron, Tiria meets a lot of hares and a badger named Mandoral. Mandoral gives Tiria some special armor, which proves that she's the High Rhulain and that she must go to Green Isle.
And thus, we reach the conclusion of Book Two. Hypocritical Abbey leaders and repetitive declarations of monarchy aside, there was a disappointing (or, from a humor columnist's point of view, exhilarating) air of repetition and implausibility floating around ominously like that little thing of pseudo-pork that they used to put in tins of canned beans. Questions spring to mind like bad similes to a creativity-starved brain past deadline, questions like: "Is 'found missing' an oxymoron?" Also, why are these cats so darn angry all the time? Why do they tell us the Guosim acronym every single time? Do sea monsters really eat rocks? Wouldn't that make them sink? Given that the otters have boats, and the cats couldn't sail a Tome in a pond if they tried, why not just leave the island? Is Tiria actually the High Rhulain, or has the whole thing been naught but a cruel (and repetitive) hoax?
Once again, I implore you to keep on not reading, and maybe, just maybe, we'll find out the answers to these questions in book three. But I can't promise anything.