Mission Impossible and James Bond have nothing on this wily bunch of rabbits who are pledged to protect the Queen of England—and the President of the United States—from a dastardly plot in this charming second novel of the Royal Rabbits of London series.
Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible—by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage!
Little Shylo Tawny-Tail is proud to call himself one of the Royal Rabbits of London, a secret order who live under Buckingham Palace and fight evil across the world. But high up in London’s famous skyscraper, the Shard, the horrible ratzis are plotting to cause chaos during a visit from the President of the United States. And when the Grand Burrow is attacked and Shylo is kidnapped, it looks as though they might just manage it! Can Shylo escape in time to save the day?
Escape from the Palace CHAPTER ONE IT WAS SIX WEEKS SINCE Shylo Tawny-Tail had left the small country farm he called home and set off on his mission to find the Royal Rabbits of London; six long weeks. Two rabbits in the countryside were missing him terribly. By some stroke of luck, they were about to find one another. . . .
Horatio, the old, wise rabbit, was sitting in his shabby armchair, reading a newspaper he had “borrowed” from the garbage can outside Farmer Ploughman’s cottage. His burrow was warm because it was summer and the scent of sweet grass and pine wafted down the tunnel from the forest above. But Horatio was lonely.
At times like these, he thought of Shylo. The small bunny used to visit Horatio to hear stories from Rabbit folklore. Here, in this burrow, Shylo had enjoyed learning about the Great Rabbit Empire of the past and the secret order of Royal Rabbits who still lived under Buckingham Palace and protected the Royal Family, and Horatio had loved teaching him. Then came the discovery of a plot to harm the Queen by a gang of super-rats called Ratzis, and Horatio had sent Shylo to London. His mission? To warn those Royal Rabbits and help them foil the plot.
Horatio had long suspected that, although Shylo was a weak and feeble bunkin with a squint, he had a brave heart. And the small bunny had become a hero just as Horatio had known he would.
The old buck sighed and tried to concentrate on the newspaper, but, without the prospect of a visit from Shylo, he felt heavy of heart and strangely restless.
Just then, Horatio heard the light scamper of hesitant paws coming down the tunnel toward his burrow. He lowered his paper and narrowed his eyes.
“Who twitches there?” Horatio growled. He rose from his chair and put his paw on his walking stick, drawing out the secret sword that was hidden inside it. Horatio had once been a Royal Rabbit and had only just escaped the Pack of snarling corgis—losing half an ear and earning many scars in the process. Now, on this quiet farm a long way from London, he was always ready and vigilant.
He sniffed the air. It didn’t smell of dog, but rabbit.
The scampering grew louder and then stopped in the mouth of Horatio’s burrow. There came a soft thumping noise, for rabbits thump their hind paw politely when they arrive somewhere. “Excuse me,” murred a gentle, female voice. “I’m looking for Horatio.” Then a small, anxious brown doe hopped into the light.
Horatio slid the blade back into his walking stick and looked at her curiously. She had big tawny eyes; a long, elegant nose; and large ears. Horatio had seen those ears before. “You must be Shylo’s mother,” he said.
As the doe took in Horatio, her big tawny eyes grew bigger still. He was an enormous buck—quite different from the country rabbits she was used to. One of his ears looked as if it had been bitten off, he was missing one hind paw, and his front left paw was wrapped in a bandage. The leaders of the Warren said that Horatio was crazy and dangerous, and Mrs. Tawny-Tail could see why they were afraid of him, but she wasn’t. If he was a friend of Shylo’s, she knew she had no reason to fear him.
Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have sold more than six million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. Visit her at SantaMontefioreauthor.com.
Simon Sebag Montefiore’s bestselling and prize-winning books are now published in over forty-five languages. His new book The Romanovs: 1613–1918 has been universally acclaimed and is already a bestseller in the UK, Australia, and the USA where it was on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks. Montefiore has won literary prizes for both fiction and nonfiction. His latest novel, One Night in Winter won the Best Political Novel of the Year Prize and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize. He is now writing the third novel in this trilogy. Follow Simon on Twitter at @SimonMontefiore. For more information visit SimonSebagMontefiore.com.
"tongue-in-cheek fun. . . . Readers need not have read the first book, but they'd be doing themselves a disservice by not starting there. Another whimsical trip down the rabbit hole."
– Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2018
Shylo, with his sensitive nose and quick wits, proves that “by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose, and a slice of mad courage,” anything is possible. Words to live by.
– Booklist on book 1, The Royal Rabbits of London, November 1, 2017
Shylo wends his way to London and, conquering fears and self-doubt, leads the delightfully eccentric Royal Rabbits on a labyrinthine search for a secret tunnel to foil the rats’ paparazzi-style scheme. Composed of whisker-thin lines, newcomer Hindley’s scratchy b&w illustrations echo the classic qualities of this polished animal fantasy driven, of all things, by a defense of one’s right to privacy in a digital world.
– Publisher's Weekly on book 1, The Royal Rabbits of London