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Review: 'An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel', by Trevor Pryce

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An Army of FrogsThis is one of those officially-Young Adult books (recommended age: 10 to 18) that adults should enjoy equally. Advance reviews are comparing it favorably with Jacques’ Redwall books and “Hunter’s” Warriors books about the talking cat clans.

With the stealth of a warrior, Darrel hopped along a wide branch, tracking the two scouts below. A waterfall roared in the distance, and a tasty-looking fig wasp flitted past.
Darrel ignored a pang of hunger, resisting the urge to shoot his tongue at the wasp for a quick snack.
Dinner could wait until he’d dealt with the enemy. (p. 1)

An Army of Frogs gets off to a rousing start. The back-cover blurb is a good summary:

Darrel, a young frog, dreams of joining the Kulipari, an elite squad of poisonous frog warriors sworn to defend the Amphibilands. Unfortunately, Darrel’s dream is impossible, because he isn’t a poisonous frog and no one’s seen the Kulipari since the last scorpion war, long ago. Anyway, now the frogs’ homeland is protected by the turtle king’s magic. So it no longer needs defending – or does it?

Enter the spider queen, a powerful dreamcaster capable of destroying the turtle king’s protective spell. She and her ally Lord Marmoo, leader of a vicious army of scorpions, are bent on conquering the frogs’ lush homeland. The frogs have never been more vulnerable. Can Daryl save the day and become the warrior of his dreams?

“An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel”, by Trevor Pryce with Joel Naftali. Illustrated by Sanford Greene. NYC, Abrams/Amulet Books, May 2013, hardcover $15.95 ([6+] 272 [+6] pages).

Amphibian Ambitions

Trevor Pryce is a 14-year veteran of the NFL who played defensive end for the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens, and the New York Jets. Now, he’s taken on a completely new career: Fantasy author. In the  first book of the new Kulipari series, Mr. Pryce (aided by Joel Naftali) tells the story of An Army of Frogs. “It’s frogs versus scorpions in this new series by professional football player Trevor Pryce. For years, the frogs of the Amphibilands have lived in safety—protected by an elite group of poisonous frogs named the Kulipari and by the dreamcasting spell of the turtle king that cloaks their lands in mystery. Now the spell is threatened by the Spider Queen, a talented spellcaster, and Lord Marmoo, leader of the scorpions. With the Kulipari off training in secret, the Amphibilands have never been so vulnerable. Enter Darel, a young frog who dreams of joining the Kulipari, despite his utter lack of poison and limited fighting skills. With the help of a motley crew of friends, Darel has the chance to become the warrior of his dreams.” This new series of hardcover fantasy novels is illustrated by Sanford Greene. According to Amazon, it’s due to hit the shelves this May from Amulet Books.

iGorilla supports Congo park; Brazilian specimens burnt

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Two quick stories from the BBC: A fire has destroyed a collection of snakes, spiders and scorpions at the Instituto Butantan in the Brazilian city of São Paulo:

"The entire collection was lost, the biggest collection of snakes in the world," curator Francisco Franco said. "It's a loss to humanity."

Meanwhile, a $4 iPhone app called iGorilla is to be sold to support conservation work in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park.

Editor's note: The feature list looks suspiciously similar to the company's 99¢ iPuppet.