Three hops high and twelve years new, with bulging ears, a broad face, and a nose of "delicate pink" is Perloo, a member of the long-lived Montmers, a sophisticated race of jackrabbit-like mammals. One day he wakes to the shouts of a female Montmer, named Lucabara, from the Central Tribe Burrow, who informs him that their leader, Granter Jolaine, is fatally ill, and has been asking for Perloo. Meeting with Perloo was a matter of life and death, not just for Jolaine, but also for the whole Montmer tribe. So begins the end of an era for the Montmer tribe, who has been living in peace and contentment for many years. Jolaine's war-mongering, dimwitted son, Berwig the Big, is set to succeed her . . . unless the bookish and reclusive Perloo can be convinced to take the helm instead. But things get complicated when a proclamation is torn in two, confusing Jolaine's intentions. This leads to what Jolaine had most feared: With the help of the treacherous double-dealing Senyous, Berwig assumes the throne. Torn between a chance for glory and an intense longing to crawl back into his burrow and curl up with a good book and his beloved tea, Perloo, with the help of Lucabara, overcomes a plethora of obstacles — including numerous captures — to restore honor to the Montmore throne.
Well-loved author Avi has created a bold animal fantasy with theatrical dialogue and an endearing good guy — and girl — to cheer on. The story, packed with adventure and radiant with Avi's lyrical descriptions, will charm even readers who don't ordinarily reach for fantasy books.