- Annie Brulatour
Byx does not want to be the last to live.
Byx is not a dog, she is a dairne - an endangered species that resembles dogs. The dairne walk upright, have opposable thumbs and marsupial pouches, and can glide from tree to tree. The dairne also have a unique gift - the ability to know when someone is lying.
In The Last, by Katherine Applegate, the magical and war-torn kingdom of Nedarra has six governing species, including the dairne, each one different...and threatening. And none are more threatening than the humans, who are responsible for wiping out the dairne population, with the exception of just one. Byx. The runt, the weakest of her pack, the lowest on the totem pole. And now, she may be the last of her species - the Endling.
It’s up to Byx to survive - and to find out if she truly is the last dairne. She sets out on a dangerous, desperate, and potentially delusional quest to find Dairneholm, the legendary settlement of dairnes. Along the way, she is joined by an unlikely cast of friends including Tobble, a tiny but loyal wobbyk, and Khala, a talented tracker who has to keep herself disguised as a boy. As they run into allies and enemies, their mission becomes more dangerous and more critical - for the dairnes may not be the only ones under attack.
Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan and the Animorphs series, has created an enthralling fantasy world, where medieval-esque humans and mythical creatures coexist. Byx encounters new characters and ideas and learns about the mythical world as the reader does, making smooth introductions to complex hierarchies and themes. The Last’s combination of high-fantasy elements, heart-pounding action, and fascinating characters will have middle-grade readers eager for the next book in the Endling series.