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Guardians of Ga'Hoole is a fantasy book series written by Kathryn Lasky and published by Scholastic.[1][2][3] The series, which was intended to end in 2008 with the publication of The War of the Ember until a prequel, The Rise of a Legend, was published in 2013, has a total of sixteen books. Apart from the main series there are a few more books and spin offs set in the same universe. The first three books of the series were adapted into the animated 3D film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, directed by Zack Snyder.[4]

Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Guardians of gahoole logo.jpg
The official logo for Guardians of Ga'Hoole

AuthorKathryn Lasky
Original titleThe Guardians of Ga'hoole: The rise of a legend
IllustratorPhil Swift
CountryUnited States
PublisherScholastic Corporation
Media typePrint (Paperback and Hardback)
No. of books31 (including spin-offs and companion books)



This series follows the adventures of Soren, a young barn owl, for the first six books, but follows Nyroc, Soren's nephew, later renamed Coryn, for books seven through eight, and twelve through fifteen are books describing the Reign of King Coryn. Books nine through eleven are half-prequels to the other books, following the story of Hoole, the first king of the Ga'Hoole Tree.

The CaptureEdit

Soren, who lives in a nest with his parents Noctus and Marella and siblings Kludd and Eglantine in a forest kingdom called Tyto, fell out of the nest. (It is later revealed that he was pushed by Kludd, who preformed the deed to become a Pure One.) When he cries out to his parents for help, Soren is found and snatched by a patrol of the evil owls from the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, or St. Aggie's. Soren and other snatched owlets are enslaved into tasks such as sorting eggs and pellets, for reasons they don't quite understand. Owls at St. Aggie's are "moon blinked", a brainwashing technique caused by sleeping under the full moon and also marching under the light of the full moon and endlessly repeating their true names to forget them so as to lose a sense of self and will. Soren befriends a young elf owl named Gylfie (from the desert kingdom of Kuneer), who, like him, is resistant to the moon-blinking, by staying awake during full shine, and together they plot both to discover as much as possible about the true purpose behind St. Aggie's and to escape. The two also befriend a spotted owl named Hortense. They also find a partly moon-blinked boreal owl named Grimble and plan to escape with Grimble's assistance. Grimble is murdered the night Soren and Gylfie escape by St. Aggie's leader Skench the great horned owl and her lieutenant Spoorn the western screech owl. After escaping, they then meet Twilight, an orphan great gray owl who learned his survival instincts from the "Orphan School of Tough Learning", Digger, a burrowing owl, who lost his family to the St. Aggie's marauders and is extremely sensitive and philosophical, and the old Mrs. Plithiver, Soren's former nest-maid western blind snake. With the help of Hortense's two bald eagle friends named Streak and Zan, they killed two of St. Aggie's patrols, the cousins Jatt and Jutt the long-eared owls.

The JourneyEdit

The four owls form a band and fly away in search of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, where legend says the great knight-owls live who are dedicated to doing good deeds and eventually find it. Soon after the band arrives at the tree, they begin their training as guardians and soon are proficient in their selected chaws, or classes, They also meet other owls, such as Otulissa, a spotted owl, Primrose, a northern pygmy owl, Martin, a northern saw-whet owl, and learn many secrets such as colliering, navigation, search and rescue and weather navigation. Ezylryb the old whiskered screech owl, the weather chaw ryb or teacher, becomes good friends with Soren. After a long period of time passes, hundreds of owlets are found abandoned in the middle of an uninhabited forest. Stranger it turns out, that all of them are "babbling of the purity of Tyto". Among these downed owlets, later called "The Great Downing", was Eglantine, Soren's lost sister. When she and the others regain full consciousness, they have no memory of what had happened, where they were from and why they were in the literal middle of nowhere.

The RescueEdit

When Ezylryb goes to investigate the area of The Great Downing and doesn't return, the Great Tree is unsettled. After a long while, the band goes to investigate the disappearance and seeks information of what could have happened. Octavia, Ezylryb's personal nest-maid Kielian snake and friend (her species, able to dig through tough material with their teeth and expand some of the scales around their heads to added strange and bluff, is similar in color to the blue racer), gives them information that Ezylryb was also the famous warrior, Lyze of Kiel (Ezyl is Lyze spelled backward) and has personal relationships with the Rogue Smith of Silverveil. Then, during the time of copper-rose rain (Autumn at the Great Tree), the band sneaks away during a week-long festival to go talk to the Rogue Smith in hopes they will not be noticed missing. When speaking with the Smith, they discover that the famous singer at the Great Tree, Madame Plonk, is related to the Smith and that there is a group of terrible owls known as The Pure Ones is led by Metal Beak. When they return to the tree, it appears that everyone noticed that they were missing and that Soren missed his sister's First Meat-and-Bones ceremony. Soon later, Eglantine begins remembering where she was at the time she was missing and tells the band that she remembers being in a castle during the imprisonment. Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, Digger, Eglantine, and Otulissa, called the Chaw of Chaws, go out to find the castle in hopes that Ezylryb's disappearance might be answered. After nearly giving up, the Chaw of Chaws finds a Devil's Triangle, a triangle made up of large caches of magnetic particles, or "flecks", meant to discombobulate an owl's sense of direction and trap Ezylryb inside. The chaw realizes that these caches can be destroyed by fire and destroys the Devil's Triangle. Just as they free Ezylryb, a group of Barn owls, part of the regime The Pure Ones attacks the Chaw, led by Metal Beak. The chaw picks up branches and sets them alight so that they can fight with fire, and part way through the battle, Martin, and Ruby, a short-eared owl, arrive. As the battle reaches its end, Metal Beak reveals his identity to the Chaw, now including Martin and Ruby, as being Kludd, Soren's evil brother. Soren, out of desperation, sets Kludd's mask on fire made of Mu metal, a soft metal that negates the magnetic powers of flecks, and he screams off as the metal melts on his face. Ezylryb and the Chaw of Chaws fly home and are met with cheering, and as daylight sets in, Ezylryb writes a poem of the impending war with the Pure Ones.

The SiegeEdit

Taking place immediately after the end of The Rescue, Kludd/Metal Beak has his mask still ablaze and he crashes into a pond near the hollow of Simon, a brown fish owl and a pilgrim from the Glauxian Brother's Retreat. After Simon nurses Kludd back to health, Kludd murders Simon and flies up to a branch with another local owl on it. However, the other owl is a spotted owl named Mist and is practically invisible. At The Great Tree, Dewlap, the burrowing owl Ga'Hoolology ryb declares the topic of Higher Magnetics and the book Fleckasia and Other Disorders of the Gizzard "spronk", or banned knowledge, which is crucial for the understanding of flecks and their effect on owls. Otulissa declares "Sprink on your Spronk" and causes Dewlap to faint on the spot. Soon after, The Chaw of Chaws is contracted to the task of infiltrating the St. Aegolious Academy for Orphaned Owls on the speculation that the Pure Ones have infiltrated the academy for its large supply of flecks, and in the same meeting, Ezylryb gives Otulissa Fleckasia and Other Disorders of the Gizzard. Before alighting from the island, Dewlap finds Otulissa reading Fleckasia and Other Disorders of the Gizzard and sentences her to the Flint mops, which is the Great Tree's way of punishment, yet Dewlap begins making Otulissa do things that a ryb would never be allowed to do to a student, like fetch her food like a slave. Otulissa goes with the punishment but eventually flies away to join the Chaw and as a result, Dewlap, "out of futile desperation", flings the book into the sea. Upon reaching St. Aggies, they are put through moon blinking sessions, but each of the owls has memorized a part of the Ga'Hoolian cycle, such as the fire cycle, the war cycle, and the star cycle. Not long after their arrival, they discover barn owls sneaking flecks out of the library, where all of the flecks at St. Aggie's. Due to Otulissa's ability to confuse one of the suspected infiltrators, she is brought up to the library to explain what Higher Magnetics is and from that, learns that one of the suspects is actually a double-agent for St. Aggies. Meanwhile, at the Pure Ones' castle, the Rogue Smith of Silverveil is hired to make battle claws for the Pure Ones' army and from the information blabbed out by one of their generals, she learns that the Pure Ones are planning to launch an attack on the Great Tree and she goes to tell Mist. At St. Aggie's, The Chaw of Chaws devised a plan to make the workers and the spies doubt each other to make them fight. During the commotion, Soren struck in the rear, damaging his rudder feathers and on the way back to the Great Tree, he became gravely ill. As Soren nears death, a local spotted owl named Hortense (yet it is male) went to the home of Mist and told them of Soren and she brought a flying snake named Slynella who had venom that could heal illness. After Soren regains his health, Mist reveals that she is the original Hortense and that the Pure Ones were planning to attack the Great Tree. The Chaw flies off towards the great tree to warn them of the impending attack and realize the true size of the Pure Ones' forces, which number in the thousands. The story tells of Kludd's initiation into the Pure Ones, as it is learned that he maimed a Non-Tyto, killed a nest maid snake and attempted to kill his younger brother by pushing him out of the nest. At the Great Tree, Ezylryb gives a speech, quite similar to the speeches given by Winston Churchill during World War II, and the tree gets prep om the Pure Ones.

The ShatteringEdit

Following the events of 'The Siege' - the story follows Eglantine who dreams of her parents possibly being alive. Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger discover a page from a book regarding the mysterious 'Flecks' - sending it to Otulissa to research. Eglantine eventually decides that her dreams of her parents are true, flying out from the Great Tree to meet up with her parents in the Beaks.

The BurningEdit

The HatchlingEdit

The First CollierEdit

This book follows the story of Grank the first collier, how he met Fengo and found the Ember of Hoole!

The Coming of HooleEdit

The story follows the hatching and the early life of the first retriever of the Ember of Hoole.

To Be a KingEdit

The Golden TreeEdit

The tree falls under the influence of the Ember of Hoole.

The River of WindEdit

Otulissa learns from Bess, the Knower, that there is a sixth kingdom in the world of owls. This discovery would mean much to owlkind. She rushes off to tell the Band about this new kingdom, which they come to know that it is known as Jouzhenkyn, or the Middle Kingdom. After they read Bess' letter, they all decide they should tell no one of this discovery yet except Coryn, their king. Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, Digger, and Otulissa, go to Coryn's hollow and tell him of this news. Coryn grows excited when the Band tells him that they get to go to the Palace of Mists (Bess' secret location) first, a place very few owls know about, and even fewer have gone there. Soren's elderly nest-maid snake pleads the Band to let her travel with them, and they agree, so The Band, Otulissa, Coryn, Mrs. Plivither leave the tree without notice to go to the Palace of Mists. While they are gone, Pelli, Soren's mate, is shocked to find Bell go missing after a weather chawlet practice. Eglantine and Primrose, the aunt and godmother for the three B's, respectively, search for her for many nights, but they were unsuccessful in their search. At the Palace of Mists, Bess is relieved to find the Band there, but she is surprised to find Coryn there too, as she is not fond of much company and enjoys her solitude. For a few nights, the Band plus Otulissa and Coryn search the documents for any information for how to get to the Middle Kingdom, and what the place is like, and Otulissa also becomes quite fluent in the native language, Jouzhen. After finding a weather map that shows how to get across the Unnamed Sea (Sea of Vastness), they bid farewell to Bess and take off with very little supplies as a "river of wind" will carry them across the tomorrow line. Along the way, they find frightening carcasses of dead birds caught in tornadoes which remind them to be cautious. When they find a qui line, a piece of red ribbon, they follow it and the night suddenly becomes the morning. They swiftly make their way to the Middle Kingdom, where a blue Long-eared owl named Tengshu greets them. Meanwhile, Bell is being tended to by another blue owl from the Middle Kingdom, an escaped dragon owl called Orlando, but he tells Bell to call him Striga and he lies about his origins. The Striga is being watched by some Pure Ones, who capture both Bell and Striga and take them to the Desert of Kuneer. There, with the help of a herbalist, they escape to the great tree and tell Doc Finebeak to get ready for an ambush in the Middle Kingdom, which was to be led by Nyra. In the Middle Kingdom, the Band and the others get word of the ambush plan, so they learn the way of Danyar, noble gentleness. They ultimately defeat Nyra and the Striga kills by spilling blood, against the way of Danyar, but since he saved Bell, the Guardians are indebted to him, so they take him back to the great tree where the Band and Coryn are welcomed back to the tree as heroes.


The Striga, a mysterious blue owl from the Middle Kingdom, gains control over young Coryn's mind. And then the unthinkable happens. The Band is banished from the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. The Striga institutes a harsh new regime that will not stop until learning itself- the very foundation of the tree- becomes suspect and books are burnt. Somehow the Band must open Coryn's eyes to the Striga's influence.

War of the EmberEdit

The Striga and Nyra join to form an alliance against the Guardians. The Guardians call on all the animals to join them in the war to decide the fate of the six owl kingdoms.

The Rise of a LegendEdit

An Owlet hatched on Stormfast Island and into a world torn by a massive war that has been going on for over 100 years. The Ice Talons are about to invade and the Kielian League will not be able to stop it. Soon the tyrant owl Bylyric will rule over the entire world. Only the small owl from Stormfast Island will be able to stand in his way from total victory. Lyze is not very impressive to look at but his wild and crazy ideas might be the only thing to stand in the way of the tyrant, but will the plan he made work?

Books in the seriesEdit

Guardians of Ga'HooleEdit

  1. The Capture (2003)
  2. The Journey (2003)
  3. The Rescue (2004)
  4. The Siege (2004)
  5. The Shattering (2004)
  6. The Burning (2005)
  7. The Hatchling (2005)
  8. The Outcast (2005)
  9. The First Collier (2006)
  10. The Coming of Hoole (2006)
  11. To Be a King (2006)
  12. The Golden Tree (2007)
  13. The River of Wind (2007)
  14. Exile (2007)
  15. The War of the Ember (2008)
  16. The Rise of a Legend (2013)[5][6][7]

Legends of Ga'HooleEdit

  1. The First Collier (2006)
  2. The Coming of Hoole (2006)
  3. To Be a King (2006)

The legends are a part of the Band's experiences. A spin-off series of three books were planned, titled Legends of Ga’Hoole.[8] However, the books were not published as a new spin-off series; instead the books were moved to the original Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, with the titles unchanged. They were numbered as books 9, 10, and 11 of the series. The advance copy editions show the subtitle on the covers, although the final editions were not released with this feature. A prologue and an epilogue were added to each book—in which Ezylryb instructs the Band to read the Legends hidden in a secret room before dying in his hollow—so as to tie the books together with the main series. The reading of the Legends later becomes important, as they play a crucial part in Soren's mentality in The Golden Tree (the first book released right after the three Legends, which resumes the adventures of Soren and the Band).

The three books—The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole, and To Be a King—are about the legendary young king Hoole the spotted owl, and his mentor (the first collier) Grank the older spotted owl (an old friend of Hoole's parents), along with the pacifist Theo the great horned owl, the first owl blacksmith. Grank was the first to find the Ember of Hoole, and King Hoole was the first to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Hoole came under the protection of Grank because his mother, Queen Siv, was a close childhood friend of Grank’s.[9]Hoole also works to stop the tyranny of these demonic birds of prey called Hagsfiends (resembling a haggish-looking cross between owls and crows).

It is possible that the Legends of Ga'Hoole served as inspiration for the title of the movie adaptation Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, although the movie loosely covered only the first three books of the series and has no relation to the Legends.

Guide booksEdit

Two guidebooks were released to give readers more insight into the world of Hoole. They are narrated by Otulissa.

  1. A Guide Book to the Great Tree (2007) (written during events between The River of Wind and Exile)
  2. Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole (2010) (written during events between The War of the Ember and Lone Wolf)

Wolves of the BeyondEdit

Wolves of the Beyond is a spin-off series that includes the daughter of Gwyndor the Australian masked owl, Gwynneth, as a main character, as well as mentioning characters (Hamish and Duncan MacDuncan the dire wolves, and Soren) and events from the main series. They announce the death of Soren in the fifth book, Spirit Wolf, and tell the stories of the ending battle of the first series, Guardians of Ga'hoole. This sequel of Guardians of Ga'hoole tells the story of Faolan, a dire wolf abandoned at birth because of a deformed paw, but saved from death by a female grizzly bear known as Thunderheart who had just lost her most recent cub to cougars. Faolan eventually becomes a watch wolf of the Ring of Sacred Volcanos, where special dire wolves guard the Ember of Hoole. When both the Beyond and much of the Owl Kingdoms are mostly destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake, Faolan leads his friends, Edme, two grizzly bear brother cubs named Toby and Burney, a mother wolf named Caila and her pup Abban, an abandoned wolf pup named Myrrglosch, and two mated bald eagles named Eelon and Zanouche (the latter is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Streak and Zan), and others (like some other dire wolves and some common puffins and banded woolly bears) to a land called the Distant Blue to begin a new life. At the same time, they are being pursued by an evil rout of rogue dire wolves (or outclanners) led by the evil yellow dire wolf Heep. Faolan and Edme also discover that they are reincarnations of two great dire wolves from ancient times, lovers Fengo and Stormfast. Faolan finds that he is also, alongside Fengo, a reincarnation of a heroic grizzly bear named Eo and a female snowy owl gadfeather named Fionula, an old friend of Madame Brunwella Plonk.

  1. Lone Wolf (2011)
  2. Shadow Wolf (2011)
  3. Watch Wolf (2012)
  4. Frost Wolf (2012)
  5. Spirit Wolf (2013)
  6. Star Wolf (2014)[10][11]

Horses of the DawnEdit

This series has a minor connection to Guardians of Ga'hoole as a standalone prequel and a historical fiction. Set during the Age of Discovery (specifically the early 1520s), it is a trilogy about a group of domestic horses who escape a human Spanish galleon leaving Cuba, led by a young filly named Estrella, who become feral and fight to stay alive in the new land of North America and seek out a new home of sweet-smelling grass that only Estrella herself can smell, where their ancestors evolutionarily originated, a valley somewhere along the western side of the Rocky Mountains called the Valley of the Dawn. She is orphaned because her mother Perlina is devoured by a great white shark after being thrown off the ship (thrown overboard to make room for gold by the command of Hernan Cortes, who the horses call the Seeker) in the Caribbean Sea. Following the North Star, they travel far and wide north through the southern part of the continent - even finding Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula, Tenochtitlan on Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico (witnessing La Noche Triste), the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests of migrating monarch butterflies, and even abandoned Puebloan cliff dwellings. They become known as the First Herd. It is similar to Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West by Deanne Stillman. They are later joined by an orphaned 12-year-old Native American human boy named Tijo (who learns how to speak to equines), some escaped mules and donkeys, a female bald eagle named Tenyak, a female mason bee named Grace, and a young male nameless coyote who later names himself Hope - he is the son of an evil coyote trickster, sometimes called First Angry, who has often antagonized the herd, but Hope is not sinister like his father. While this is going on, they attempt to avoid and defeat a greedy and arrogant conquistador human going by the pseudonym El Miedo (his Christian name is Ignatio de Cristobal), a competitor of Cortes, briefly allied with an egotistical Andalusian stallion named Pegasus (Pego for short). In the second book, Star Rise, it is referenced that this series place long before Guardians of Ga'hoole for there is an oracular barn owl (a species the natives call the omo owl) featured that mentioned to Tijo how things called Ga' and Hoole have not happened yet. This implies that Guardians of Ga'hoole takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct, the geography changed, and certain new species evolved. Also, just before the prologue of the same book, there is a quote from To Be a King. In addition, at the end of the third book, Wild Blood, when the crowd of animals finally reaches the legendary Valley of the Dawn, being led the whole time by the spirits of an Eohippus, a human girl called First Girl, and Tijo's deceased wise stepmother Haru of the Burnt River Clan People, it has just about the right connection to the ending of the sixth book in Wolves of the Beyond, Star Wolf, where Faolan, now back in his kind's (the dire wolves) original homeland, tentatively called the Distant Blue, with his team of both fellow dire wolves and other animals, finds a narrow green valley inhabited by American bison and horses; one of the horses, a creamy white individual with a face scarred from a wildfire (making the face furless and the skin crinkled up in ugly ridges), is stationed on a promontory just ahead of him; using the memories of his past life, the legendary ancient dire wolf named Fengo, he discovers that this horse also has reincarnated memories of a past life of its own, the equine recalling Fengo from the past, now seeing the ancient wolf reincarnated as Faolan.

  1. The Escape (2014)
  2. Star Rise (2015)
  3. Wild Blood (2016)

Bears of the IceEdit

This series is set during a time in the main series of Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Set in a faraway northern Arctic land north of the Northern Owl Kingdoms called the Nunquivik, a mother polar bear named Svenna is forced to leave her two cubs, temporarily nicknamed First and Second before they get proper names, to take their place in a twisted cult of polar bears, led by one called the Grand Patek, worshipping a mighty constructed clock (put together by owls and a few sophisticated bears), known as the Ice Clock, upon a tall glacier, thus they are obsessed with time in a more humanlike sense. This great-sized clock was originally only meant to help predict the second happening of a past glacial-melting event called the Great Melting. With the great mechanism no longer being treated as a tool but now as an idol, this cult abducts cubs and forces them to work inside the giant clock's gears, turning it until they either die or lose one body part without dying - these enslaved cubs are referred to by the cultists as Tick Tocks. Escaping the rude and secretly cannibalistic Taaka, their first cousin once removed (she is their mother's first cousin, who even Svenna barely knows), First and Second (both born with special psychic powers) journey to find their long-lost father Svern, later joined by their second cousins Third and Froya. At the same time, the Grand Patek (the leader of the clock-worshipping bears) devises a master plan to even enslave the lands beyond the Nunquivik, even the Northern Owl Kingdoms. Svenna and Svern were both originally born and raised in the Northern Owl Kingdoms and thus know how to read and write. At one point in the first book it is revealed that Svenna knows the deceased Lyze of Kiel, or Ezylryb, and wonders what has happened back in the Owl Kingdoms since his death. It is also revealed that Svarr an Svenka, a clever polar bear from the time of Hoole (featured in The Coming of Hoole and To Be a King) who knew how to eavesdrop on others by listening through smee holes (natural steam vents), were Stellan and Jytte's ancestors.

  1. The Quest of the Cubs (2018)
  2. The Den of Forever Frost (2018)
  3. The Keepers of the Keys (2019)


Movie adaptationEdit

A 3D computer-animated film adaptation of the book was released by Warner Bros. in 2010. Zack Snyder directed the film as an animation debut with Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Barclay, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, and David Wenham voicing the characters.

Video game adaptationEdit


  1. ^ Powers, Catherine A (March 21, 2010). "Katherine Powers reviews audio books for kids". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  2. ^ "Books — The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 1)". Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "CHILDRENS'S [sic] BEST SELLERS: April 9, 2006". The New York Times. April 9, 2006. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  4. ^ Bowles, Scott (March 4, 2010). "First Look: Wise owls fill a fantastic world in 'Guardians'". USA Today. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  5. ^ The Rise of a Legend, Walmart
  6. ^ Announcement Archived April 25, 2014, at on Kathryn Lasky's website.
  7. ^ Lasky, Kathryn. "Kathryn Lasky: Fiction Books". Kathryn Lasky. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Kathryn, Lasky. Guardians of Ga'Hoole #8: The Outcast. Advertisement at the back of the book.
  9. ^ Kathryn, Lasky. Guardians of Ga'Hoole #10: The Coming of Hoole. p. 208.
  10. ^ Star Wolf at Amazon
  11. ^ Star Wolf at Barnes & Noble

External linksEdit