In S. D. Smith’s The Green Ember series, rabbits walk on two feet, wear clothes, and carry swords, and each page urges you to keep reading. The main characters, Picket and Heather, are two young rabbit siblings whose father once told them legends of King Jupiter, but those are just stories. Or are they? Through unfortunate circumstances, Picket and Heather are thrust into a cruel world of predators, betrayal, and the rise and fall of kingdoms.
Action fills the plot and adventure is around every turn of the page.
I would define Smith’s writing style as simple, but not in a negative way, for it is a good kind of simple. C. S. Lewis once said, “Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.” Smith’s writing serves as an example of this quote. Written for children, the pages of The Green Ember are not dominated by flowery and unnecessary wording. By using strong verbs and concise language, Smith writes in a manner that clearly expresses his intent. Readers will find themselves enthralled and envisioning the story in their minds, playing it out like a movie.
Action that’s written improperly can fog a story’s clarity, causing readers to lose sight of the setting and be unable to follow the characters’ movements until the scene is over. Then readers aren’t sure what happened or how the characters even managed to get out of the situation. But this problem did not exist in The Green Ember or its sequel, Ember Falls. At one point, I could vividly picture Heather, wide-eyed and frightened, running away from the slobbering, snapping jaws of a wolf. Young writers can learn from and should imitate Smith’s writing style.
The Green Ember is a fantastic and fun series. Who wouldn’t be entertained by reading about rabbits with swords? Since the series is founded on a Christian worldview, I would not hesitate to recommend it to younger readers or beginning writers.
“My place beside you, my blood for yours, till the Green Ember rises, or the end of the world.”