Endling the Last by Katherine Applegate is a wild quest. In a land ruled by the horrible Murdano family, there are five ruling classes: humans, dairnes (walking, talking dogs that are able to glide through air), felivets (fierce, multi-colored wild cats), terramants (huge bugs – ewww), and huge flying birds (I’m forgetting their official name because I gave the book away! It’s veloci-something). The Murdano is responsible for killing off all the dairnes, and then staging a huge funeral for the species.
Byx is the last living dairne after watching her family’s horrific murder. She was always the runt and the underestimated member of her pack. As the sole survivor, she must attempt to discover if there are more of her kind hidden on a floating island of legends passed down in her family. To add to Byx’s depth, it turns out that dairne are natural lie detectors. This adds an interesting element to the story.
Byx meets up with a wobbyk (a rabbit or rodent-like creature with three tails), a girl Khara and others they meet along the way (both good and bad). Khara brings Byx to a trusted scholar, but he betrays Khara’s trust by ordering Byx’s death. They manage to escape, but when they are seen at the funeral ceremony it begins a race for their lives.
This book is full of action. There are epic battles and fiercely unique characters. Despite that this isn’t my typical read, I couldn’t help but become immersed in this world and these magical characters. This is a series, so the ending leaves you hanging. Great storytelling!