|Cover Art:||Richard Cowdrey|
|Cover Design:||Steve Scott|
|Publish Date:||First printing: 2003|
|ISBN Number:||ISBN 978-0-439-40558-4|
|Soren, Twilight, Glyfie and Digger band together and journey to find the mythical Great Ga'Hoole Tree.|
|Previous Book:||The Capture|
|Next Book:||The Rescue|
- It began as a dream. A quest for the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, a mythic place where each night an order of owls rises to perform noble deeds. There Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger hope to find inspiration to fight the evil that dwells in the owl kingdom.
- The journey is long and harrowing. When Soren and his friends finally arrive at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, they will be tested in ways they never dreamed and face challenges they never imagined. If they can learn from their leaders and from one another, they will soon become true Ga'Hoolian owls- honest and brave, wise and true.
On their way towards the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the band (Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger) and Mrs. Plithiver are mobbed by crows when they risk flying in daylight. The band manage to drive off the crows, but at the cost of Digger being injured. After landing in a spruce tree for shelter, a neighboring family of Masked Owls comes to visit after hearing of the band's feat. Before leaving, the female Masked Owl becomes skeptical when she hears that the band is on the way to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Mrs. Plithiver retorts by saying that she is a fool for believing that Hoolemere does not exist. Later after their departure from the spruce tree, they stayed in a sycamore with a pair of Sooty Owls named Sweetums and Swatums, who support the band in their quest to find Ga'Hoole.
In The Beaks, a barren and desolate area, the band venture into a dark cave where they are attacked by a bobcat. Together, the band manage to kill the bobcat, and upon further investigation they find a dying Barred Owl. When they ask if St. Aggie's had attacked him, his last words are, "You only wish!" After hearing this disturbing news, the band burn the body of the Barred Owl and continue on their quest. However, their progress is dangerously hindered because of the Mirror Lakes. Their gleaming surfaces hypnotize the band and make them content to stay and put off their quest. Eventually, Mrs. Plithiver recognizes the danger and stirs the band into remembrance of their quest.
When they leave, they are blown off course straight into the Ice Narrows in the Northern Kingdoms where they are taken in by a family of puffins: the oddest creatures the band has ever seen. Despite all difficulties, the band are escorted to the Island of Hoole by the Snowy Owl monarchs of the tree, Boron and Barran. Upon their arrival at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, a stuck-up Spotted Owl named Otulissa escorts the band to their new hollow. They learn from her that they can not just go into a battle, but that skills must be learned by becoming members of chaws: specialized groups of owls that dedicate themselves to a certain skill.
Upon finding Ga'Hoole, the band request a meeting with the parliament because they feel that their knowledge of St. Aggie's would be valuable to the Guardians. However, Boron informs the band that they needed to wait a bit longer and that nobility wasn't garnered instantly but through unwavering resolution and stalwartness. He also informed them that their journey had not ended when they arrived at the tree but it had only just begun and that they would begin their training the next day. During the day, Soren found Twilight thinking about leaving the Guardians because the band would be broken up as they would be seperated into chaws. Soren reassured Twilight that no matter what happened, they would always be a band. Upon hearing these words, Twilight agreed to stay.
One month later, the band has learned many skills and become more accustomed to life at the Great Tree. However, Soren is still haunted by the thought of his sister Eglantine and her well-being. Eventually, the band are placed into their respective chaws; Soren is placed into the colliering and weather interpretation chaws lead by a Whiskered Screech Ezylryb. This is a disaster for Soren because of the Whiskered Screech Owl Ezylryb's intimidating missing talon and because he is double-chawed with Otulissa, whose talkitive attitude is hard to bear. However, the chief smith of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, Bubo (a Great Horned Owl) is confident that Soren will be all that he can be because Ezylryb has recognized Soren's potential. Later, the band discovers that the roots under the parliament chamber are prone to transmitting any sound created in the chamber. This allows them to discover that the Guardians sre addressing the topic concerning the dead Barred Owl. They find out that he was a slipgizzle: An owl spy that worked for the Guardians. Eventually Soren's fears and problems begin to subside. Ezylryb proves to be much more than every owl in his weather chaw ever thought him to be. Soren is even able to help Mrs. Plithiver get a spot in the harp guild with Madame Plonk, the tree's beloved Snowy Owl singer. He also manages to catch a burning coal in his beak and earns Ezylryb's rare approval.
Despite the turn of events, the tranquility of life at the tree is shaken when owlets of the Tyto species are found dropped all over babbling nonsense about Tyto purity. Digger and Twilight, who are part of the search and rescue chaw, find Eglantine who is one of the owlets dropped in the event that comes to be known as the Great Downing. Soren is shocked when he is shown Eglantine but disappointed that she isn't her true self. Eventually, Trader Mags comes to trade goods at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree and Eglantine goes into a panic when shown a piece of isinglass. This panic, however, proves to be effective because Eglantine breaks out of her strange condition and becpmes normal once again. For now, Soren feels content but only to an extent since Ezylryb, the ryb Soren has come to truly cherish, has not yet returned from his investigations of the Great Downing.
Behind the Scenes
- This is the second of six Guardians of Ga'Hoole books to include illustrations of the main and minor characters that appear in the book.