Yorsh was only a little elf when his mother went to the place “from which you didn’t come back”. Now that his grandmother has sent him away before the rains flood their home, he must leave his village and find drier ground. Too young to be on his own, Yorsh hopes to find shelter before he encounters any humans. As luck would have it, he meets Sajra,a young woman with a compassionate heart who takes pity on the child and takes him under her wing. Soon they are befriended by a hunter named Monser. Thus begins the adventures of the last elf.
Every journey has its risks, but for Sajra and Monser the greatest is the danger of being caught with an elf. Humans believe that the elves are responsible for the irregular weather patterns that have destroyed their crops for years. Sajra and Monser quickly learn that not only do elves not possess the power to control the weather, but that young Yorsh’s skills are not yet developed. He can light fires, unlock doors and even bring small animals back to life, but not much more. Unfortunately, the ruler of Dalibar has used fear-mongering to bolster his power, suppress learning and control the city’s population. The threesome is arrested, but narrowly escapes hanging and heads for the mountains. Yorsh is convinced that a prophecy concerning the last elf and the last dragon must be fulfilled to save the world. The young elf resolves to meet his destiny, even if that means physical hardship and loneliness.
Yorsh’s innocence and simplicity endear him to nearly everyone he encounters. He empathizes with ogres and children alike, expending his powers to cure their physical and emotional suffering, never thinking of his own needs. The loyalty and trust he gains enables him to lead an oppressed people to freedom. It also inspires an unlikely hero to sacrifice himself for others. De Mari’s sweet and entertaining tale teaches many lessons about friendship, duty and selflessness, reminding readers that no matter how dark things appear, there is always reason to hope.
Jennifer Minicus is a wife and mother currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.