The Rainbow Serpent: A Kulipari Novel, by Trevor Pryce – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

The Rainbow Serpent: A Kulipari Novel, by Trevor Pryce with Joel Naftali. Illustrated by Sanford Greene.
NYC, Abrams/Amulet Books, October 2014, hardcover $15.95 ([3 +] 289 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $9.99.

51DpIBKsGLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This is the middle novel of an adventurous Young Adult trilogy, following An Army of Frogs (May 2013) and coming before the concluding Amphibians’ End (October 2015). “Frogs and Platypuses versus Scorpions and Spiders”. With a double-page color map showing such places as Wallaby Village, Platypus Village, The Outback, and Yarrangobilly Caves, you can easily guess that it’s set in Australia.

An Army of Frogs established Daryl, the adolescent frog protagonist, as a wannabe warrior like the fabled Kulipari who fought to protect Daryl’s damp-forest Amphibilands homeland from the spider armies of beautiful but cruel Queen Jarrah a generation ago. Unfortunately, the Kulipari have since disappeared, while the Spider Queen has formed an alliance with the scorpions’ evil Lord Marmoo. The scorpions have traditionally lived in the dry Outback and not bothered the frogs, but now Lord Marmoo is building a vast army to conquer the world. Having the Spider Queen’s help is all he needs:

“‘No, my lord. Your army is ten times bigger than any scorpion horde since the time of legend.’

‘Indeed. But as our numbers increase, we drain the outback. We’re running out of food and water. We need a more fertile land.’ Lord Marmoo’s pincers snapped shut. ‘We need the Amphibilands, and soon it will be ours.’” (An Army of Frogs, p. 34)

An Army of Frogs ends with Daryl and his sidekick Gee alone at the border of the Amphibilands and the Outback, defeating (mostly by trickery) the first scorpion troops to invade the Amphibilands. But Gee is captured. Daryl has to decide whether to go home to warn the frog elders of the scorpion menace, and get help (which would be prudent), or to venture alone into the Outback to try to rescue Gee (which would be adventurous). No contest! Read the rest of this entry »