Ember Rising: The Green Ember Book III is the third book in The Green Ember series. It was written by S. D. Smith and illustrated by Zach Franzen. It was published by Story Warren, LLC on March 8, 2018.
"A harrowing adventure inside enemy territory. Heather and Picket are plunged into the darkness of Morbin's shadow, fighting to bear the flame of the cause and light the way for rabbitkind's upright insurrection.
Hope for a Healing
Work for the Mending
Fight for the Rising."
An excerpt from The Wreck and Rise of Whitson Mariner.
In Morbin's lair, Heather recognizes that the slave who is singing is none other than her mother Sween Longtreader. She is then flown to Akolan by Garten Longtreader, who dumps her in the Lepers' District after a heated exchange. After escaping the denizens of the area, she is apprehended by officers of the Longtreader administration, which serve as peacekeepers for Akolan. After learning something of the city from a young buck named Hadley, Heather is summoned to appear before the Commandant.
Meanwhile, at Jupiter's Crossing, Picket and Helmer are leading a force of rabbits who are evacuating from Cloud Mountain. Upon reaching the crossing, the pair prepare to leave on their own mission, only to be confronted by a party of Terralain soldiers led by Tameth Seer. A battle ensues as the Terralains attempt to take Picket into custody for killing Bleston, but they are subdued when Coleden Blackstar and Jo Shanks arrive with reinforcements. After Helmer and Captain Vulm agree to a brief cessation of hostilities, the two forces part ways in peace, with Picket and Helmer setting off for Harbone Citadel. Along the way, Helmer tells Picket about his twin sister Airen, only for the pair to come under fire from unseen archers.
Back in Akolan, at Longtreader high command, Heather is brought before the Commandant and his officers. After being instructed in the city's subservient attitude towards the Lords of Prey, she is dragged from the Sixth District and left outside, badly wounded. After a number of days, she awakens to find herself in the Akolan home of her parents Sween and Whittle Longtreader. Following a joyful reunion, Heather shares with them all that has happened since their last meeting and reveals that the Green Ember is in her possession.
Helmer and Picket discover that the archers of Harbone have been attempting to cause them to take cover, and soon witness the terrifying sight of the Wild Wolf Pack. After evading most of the wolves and defeating a handful, they reach Harbone, where they are welcomed by old comrades of Helmer's including Lord Hewson. To the chagrin of Harbone's residents, the pair announce their intention-on the orders of Princess Emma-to enter First Warren, the occupied capital city. Elsewhere, Emma and her retinue pay a visit to Vandalia Citadel as they seek to unite the forces of the Resistance.
In Akolan, Heather begins work at a clinic in Akolan, where she uses Jone Wissel's tonic on a fatally injured rabbit. Later, her father takes her out after dark into the Lepers' District, while revealing that the young rabbits of the city are cultivated as food for the Lords of Prey. After they have entered the district, Heather becomes separated from her father with the lepers closing in. At Harbone, Picket and Helmer propose various schemes to enter First Warren, only to learn that they have all been attempted in the past but have failed miserably.
A younger engineer named Emerson, whose father Emery Dann was among those killed in an attempt to enter First Warren, proposes a new entry strategy. His inventions, the Bowstrikers, are used to provide a distraction while Helmer and Picket enter First Warren using gliders. Unfortunately, Lord Hewson and many of the rabbits who aided the mission are killed when the Wild Wolf Pack attacks. Worse yet, the citizens of First Warren are punished for their perceived act of rebellion, as the Prey Lord Falcowit and his minions take a number of their young.
Heather is brought into a hidden tunnel by her father, and they arrive in the hidden sanctuary of the Seventh District, a resistance cell that has operated in the city for decades. Heather is then put on trial to determine whether she will be admitted to the group or killed, but succeeds in persuading them of her faithfulness to the cause of the Mended Wood. Unfortunately, upon arriving back at home, the two find that her brother Jacks has returned from the Akolan school. Not only has Jacks been indoctrinated by the Longtreader administration, but he has unknowingly been selected for the program that readies rabbit children to be killed for the Prey Lords' consumption.
While Emma continues her efforts to unite the Resistance, Helmer and Picket learn that Heather's story has penetrated First Warren. They then reach Helmer's family home, where they meet his niece Louise, or Weezie, and discover Airen broken after the loss of her husband Snoden and other daughter Layra. As Helmer attends to his sister, Weezie and Picket go on a walk and begin to get acquainted, but are then captured by black-clad rabbits. Believing them to be the evil Black Band, led by the vile Captain Daggler, Picket attempts to escape and free Weezie but is recaptured.
While trying to determine how to help her brother see the truth, Heather is approached by Captain Vitton of the Longtreader administration, who threatens both her and her family. She is then taken to see the Tunneler, leader of the Seventh District, by his headstrong daughter Harmony. After learning of the Seventh District's awe-inspiring plans to escape Akolan by ship, she attempts to provide medical aid to the ailing rabbit. Sadly, he dies shortly thereafter, and Heather and her mother are arrested by Vitton after Jacks informs on them.
Emma attends a secret meeting with Prince Kylen of Terralain, who demonstrates both uncertain health and an imbalanced mind. After failing to come to terms with her cousin, Emma departs, and only escapes death at the hands of Tameth Seer due to the timely arrival of Jo Shanks, Coleden, and Heyna Blackstar. In First Warren, Picket and Weezie discover that their abductors are in fact a resistance faction when they are brought to the Citadel of Dreams and introduced to Captain Moonlight. After learning that Helmer and Airen have been captured by the real Black Band, the two join Moonlight's band in a rescue attempt. Airen is gotten safely away, but Helmer is shot while keeping his traitorous former comrade Daggler hostage to enable Picket's escape.
Fortunately, Moonlight's band is able to rescue both Picket and Helmer, and both Helmer and his sister begin to recover. The resistance fighters of First Warren then prepare to take action against Prey Lords and their allies on Victory Day. In Akolan, Heather and Sween-the latter suffering injuries at the hands of Vitton and his underlings-are taken to witness the horror of that city's own Victory Day festivities. However, the tables are turned when the Seventh District takes action, led by the new Tunneler Whittle Longtreader, who slays Vitton. Heather manages to rescue Jacks, but ends up being captured by a bird-riding Garten Longtreader.
Garten carries Heather to Forbidden Island, near First Warren, and while condemning her rebellious actions leaves her with a mortal wound before knocking her into the Tomb of Lander's Dragons. Meanwhile, Picket and Helmer, aided by Moonlight's ally and Emma's repentant brother Whitbie Joveson, deliver an ultimatum to Winslow Joveson, the puppet governor of the city. After sneaking up to the palace roof, Picket uses a glider to reach one of the Seven Standing Stones of the city, and with help from the resistance blasts away the statue of Morbin atop it. The resistance then acts to save the city's younglings and rally the people, only to face the forces of the Black Band, the Lords of Prey, and their wolf allies.
Just in time, the now united resistance forces attack the city, blasting their way in and offering battle to the predators and their minions. Doing his best to rally the rabbits, Picket links up with Cole, and the pair then come to Captain Moonlight's aid as he is battling Daggler. Helmer intervenes in the battle and kills Daggler, while an injured Picket then goes to the aid of Jo Shanks as Jo tumbles from a wall after killing a raptor. With the city taken, Emerson uses a Bowstriker to kill Lord Falcowit before he can escape, insuring that the rabbits will have time to fortify the city against Morbin's retaliation.
With his injuries treated, Picket goes to the Standing Stones with Weezie to watch as Emma addresses the city, pardoning her wayward brother and any who are willing to forsake their allegiance to Morbin. The rabbits then celebrate, singing aloud with joy, though Picket longs for his absent sister. Meanwhile, Heather awakens inside the tomb, and finds Smalls' body lying nearby. Heartbroken, she lays her head upon his chest, only to raise it again in astonishment.
Differences between editions
In later editions of Ember Rising, following the recording of the audio book version, S. D. Smith made certain changes to the text. These include:
- When Helmer talks about the prank he and Airen played on several naval officers in their youth, Helmer alludes to his ancestor Brindle Cove.
- When Picket, Lord Hews, and Hame Smith discuss the Stone Sword of Flint, they reference Fay's prophecy concerning its eventual breaking, which was also mentioned at the end of The Wreck and Rise of Whitson Mariner.
- The hardcover edition of Ember Rising has a silver imprint of an illustration of Whittle Longtreader under the jacket.
- The dedication reads "For Dad and Mom" and includes the Latin text Iustus qui ambulat in simplicitate sua beatos post se filios derelinquet. This translates to "The just that walketh in his simplicity, shall leave behind him blessed children."
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