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The Uprising: The Mapmakers in Cruxcia by Eirlys Hunter

Sal, Joe, Francie and Humphrey Santander are mapmakers looking for their father, a famous explorer who disappeared on his last expedition.

Their search leads them to a curious new land and a town in trouble. The all-powerful Grania Trading Company (GTC) has a secret plan that threatens to ruin the landscape around Cruxcia forever. Can the Santander's mapping skills help the people of Cruxcia discover what the GTC is planning in time to save their valley? And how is the fate of the Santander's father connected to the fate of this community?

In this follow-up to The Mapmaker's Race, the Santander children are drawn into a community's rebellion against a despot and use their mapping skills to help avert an environmental disaster.

Full of action from the very first page, author Eirlys Hunter builds on the world readers explored in The Mapmakers' Race. The Uprising can't really be read as a stand-alone, as there are elements of the world that will stump readers.

The character of Francie for example can 'fly' - leaving her body to get a bird’s eye impression of the land below them, an interesting and important trait when you’re a map maker trying to find a new route.

Hunter doesn't really recap this skill, and only hints at what happened in the previous book. Fortunately, the series is a standout. So if you've not yet read The Mapmakers' Race, it is totally worth it.

Hunter gives each child in the story a distinct voice and feel, again building on their previous adventure. There's also a bunch of new characters, and a new city, to get to know, as well as cameos from characters from the race.

This story contains contemporary themes about the environment and rebellion, which author Eirlys Hunter hopes will resonate with younger readers.

"In The Mapmakers' Race the children succeed because they stick together and help each other. In The Uprising a whole community sticks together and acts collectively to force change. The concept of fighting for a better world together might help children to be less anxious than feeling that the future rests on their shoulders alone," Hunter said.

Illustrator Kirsten Slade once again provides wonderful artwork that details the Santanders' quest, mimicking the maps that Francie is tasked with.

The Uprising is a great sequel that lives up to the high bar the first book in the series set. It's a wonderful read, and read-aloud, that will appeal immensely to middle-grade readers and adults alike.

Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

Gecko Press, RRP $22.99


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