This is the final book in the Mistmantle Chronicles, as lovely a series as could be...some of the best anthropomorphic Christian fiction since Narnia and Redwall!
This book deals with all of the characters we've come to know and love in the series, and particularly with King Crispin and Captain Urchin. A rage tide threatens the beloved Isle of Mistmantle from without, and fear and rumors from within. When a beloved character is in mortal danger, another pays the ultimate sacrifice.
Beautiful. There are four main animal groups (Squirrels, Hedgehogs, Otters and Moles) and Margaret McAllister skillfully weaves their stories into a tapestry (or "threading" as they are called in the series) of breathtaking beauty. I didn't want the series to end. Definitely espouses a strong Christian worldview!
Monotheistic. Similar to Narnia or Watership Down. The author is Anglican, and there are priests and novices, such as Brother Fir and Brother Juniper. They keep the heartstone, but remind the other animals to "worship the Heart, not the heartstone," even though it's a sacred item. (Similar to the Ark of the Covenant)
Some. There are wars in the earlier books and the rage tide in this concluding novel; the author does not harp on the devastation it leaves in its wake, but she does touch on it some.
Drug and Alcohol Content
A few of the animals make cordials, but it's not 100% clear whether they are alcoholic or not.
One character discovers he's the child of parents who were not married. My young nieces have read the books and I think that this is dealt with in a way that is over the heads for young readers, so it's fine for their age group.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
I found this series a few years ago when searching for something wholesome to offer to my nieces as an alternative to Harry Potter, Twilight and other books that I did not want them to get into. I pre-read the first book to see if it was alright and I fell in love! I just finished this (the last book) a few days ago and wept at the conclusion. I also used an excerpt from the book to make a sympathy card for a memorial and shared it with the author, who was gracious enough to email me back! I will cherish her response forever and shared it with my nieces.