|Cover Art:||Richard Cowdrey|
|Cover Design:||Steve Scott|
|Publish Date:||First printing: 2004|
|ISBN Number:||ISBN 978-0-439-40560-7|
|Kludd and the Pure Ones launch an attack unpon the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, yet Soren has another thing to do: Return to St. Aggies as spies.|
The Siege is the fourth book in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.
Tensions erupt in the owl kingdom when the forces of evil wage war aginist the protecters of good. Enraged by his clash with Soren and driven by an all-consuming desire for power, Kludd and his group, the Pure Ones, launch an attack upon the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. The noble owls who live there must fight fiercely to protect their resources and defend their honor.
Meanwhile, Soren is called upon by the elders of the great tree to lead a mission back to the one place he thought he'd never see again - St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. He and his crew will have to enter St. Aggie's as spies, then leave unnoticed once their work was done. Soren escaped the rocky confines of St. Aggie's once. If peace is to be restored, he must do it again.
In Ambala, a Brown Fish Owl named Simon, a Glauxian Brother, witnessed a curse-spewing ball of fire fall into a lake. As it was his duty to help, Simon did not hesitate to help the downed owl. Little did he know that he had rescued Kludd, the High Tyto and leader of the Pure Ones. Kludd had previously been in a disastrous encounter with the Guardians of Ga'Hoole when they attempted to rescue Ezylryb. Little had he known that his thought-to-be deceased brother Soren was with them and had almost killed him. As the days passed, Simon continued to tend to this unknown Barn Owl and Kludd grudgingly put up with the presence of what he considered to be a most filthy owl. However, as soon as Kludd gained back his strength, he intended to murder the owl and be on his way. During his recovery, Kludd had been plotting. His capture of Ezylryb had failed miserably but now he had imagined something far greater: a siege on the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Eventually, Kludd murdered the Brown Fish Owl and flew off into the night to carry out his plan, but not before being seen by Mist, the watcher of the woods.
Back at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, Soren had just returned from an interpretation flight with Ezylryb, the first one since Ezylryb had been captured. Gylfie had found out that the knowlege of higher magnetics had been declared spronk (forbidden). Also the Parliament was in session, dictating the need for the band to go to the roots to eavesdrop on the parliament. There, they overheard a debate taking place: Dewlap and Elvan agreeing with higher magnetics being declared spronk, Strix Struma undecided and Bubo and Ezylryb opposing the spronk. Dewlap believed that higher magnetics was dark magic and a strange subject that was barely understood. Ezylryb reasoned, however, that higher magnetics was a science not fully understood and that it shouldn't be described as dark with a negative connotation because owls depended on darkness to live, hunt, fly, explore and defend.
During the eavesdropping, Otulissa dropped in unexpectedly, which enraged Soren to the point that afterwards he demanded an explanation. Otulissa stated that she had the right because she was the one who had determined that a Devil's Triangle was making Ezylryb a prisoner, and also she knew how to resist it by using mu metal. After the band attempted to figure out what to do to oppose the spronk, Otulissa determined that she would request a book called Fleckasia and Other Disorders of the Gizzard, which was supposed to be removed from the shelves of the library. It would be a test case to see what would happen. When Otulissa requested for the book, Dewlap was in the library and told her it was currently declared spronk. After a heated argument, Otulissa finally shouted out, "WELL, SPRINK ON YOUR SPRONK!" which caused Dewlap to faint of shock. Afterwards, the band was summoned to the Parliament hollow and to their surprise, Ruby and Martin were also in attendance. Boron explained that they were needed on a mission: a mission to penetrate St. Aegolius Acadamy for Owls, much to Soren and Gylfie's horror. The parliament believed that the Pure Ones had already infiltrated St. Aggie's to find out more about the immense stash of flecks that had been and were being mined there. Upon their acceptance of the mission, Ezylryb gave them their cover story that demanded daily instruction in the knowledge of the Northern Kingdoms to create a good cover story. Before the chaw of chaws left, Ezyrlyb gave Otulissa the book and agreed with her position of sprink on spronk.
Eventually the day of the mission came and after hard studying, the chaw of chaws was ready to depart, except Otulissa. Despite her protests, Dewlap had confiscated the higher magnetics book and accompanied her on a special flint mop. Eventually, Otulissa knew she had to leave, dropped a dead ground squirrel in Dewlap's face and took off. In the scuffle, the higher magnetics book fell into the Sea of Hoolemere. Otulissa eventually caught up with the rest of the chaw of chaws, and they finally arrived at St. Aggie's. They were immediately interrogated by Unk, Skench and Spoorn about how they came to St. Aggie's. The chaw of chaws gave their cover story, and it was accepted by the owls of St. Aggie's. Using their knowledge of the legends of Ga'Hoole and from Soren and Gylfie's experiences, they resisted the initial moon blinking process and began to search for any signs of infiltration by the Pure Ones. Soren and Martin were assigned to the eggorium where they meet Finny, Soren's former pit guardian. They were eventually promoted to moss tenders and Ruby, who was a broody, revealed to them that flecks were being put into the nests of Barn Owls. This raised their suspicion that the Pure Ones wre indeed present inside St. Aggie's. Much to Soren's disgust, Ruby revealed that Finny was an egg eater. Meanwhile, Otulissa was summoned by Skench, who informed her that they had turned some of the Pure One spies to work as double agents for St. Aggie's. One such owl was 92-01, who had been renamed Uklah had previously fallen under Otulissa's suspicion. They also began asking questions about flecks, to which Otulissa responded with false information.
Far away in Silverveil, Kludd waited for the rogue smith of Silverveil to arrive with his new mu metal mask. He had his lieutenant Wortmore rough her up and force her to do it. During the fitting, the rogue smith suspected something terrible stirring inside the mind of the High Tyto despite his silence. She mentioned she was working on a new battle claw design that was very efficient and had the High Tyto send Wortmore with her back to her forge for a fitting. Wortmore mentioned they would need at least eighty or more for the Pure Guard, one division of many that had begun the Great Massing on Cape Glaux. From those facts, the rogue smith deduced that the Pure Ones were about to lay siege on the Great Ga'Hoole Tree and its noble Guardians. As Wortmore flew off with his battle claws, the rogue smith gathered her few belongings and fled to Ambala to seek out Mist.
For the next few days, Otulissa continued to feed Skench and Spoorn false information concerning higher magnetics. Now the chaw of chaws had all secured jobs in the hatchery from where they planned to escape. Their plan was to turn the agents of the Pure Ones against the double agents of St. Aggie's. During the fight, the chaw of chaws would slip away and escape. When the fight was started, Finny recognized Soren from when he was an owlet, began to fly after him, and wounded him. Eventually Twilight was able to force Finny into a daze with one of his war cries, and Soren was able to kill her (but not before being injured). Despite her death, Skench and Spoorn came into the fray after the chaw of chaws, but were rendered unable by Gylfie, who recited the legends of Ga'Hoole out loud. After their escape, the chaw of chaws was forced to land in a sycamore in Ambala because of Soren's injury. However, a Spotted Owl named Hortense tried to dissuade them from doing so because it was haunted by the scroom of a Brown Fish Owl Kludd had murdered. Upon hearing the owl's name, the owls were shocked because Hortense was a female name. The male Hortense explained that it didn't matter, because to be named Hortense was a great honor in Ambala because of the original Hortense's heroic acts. Despite the worms they applied to Soren's wound, the Barn Owl wasn't getting better. Thinking there was nothing else he could do and that Soren would be dead by morning, Hortense flew off.
During his flight home, he immediately got the impression that he should fly to see Mist. When he arrived at the place where Mist resided, he was greeted by two eagles, Zan and Streak. He informed them that there was a dying Barn Owl in the sycamore where the Brown Fish Owl was murdered. He eventually came to see Mist and she sent him, the eagles and a flying snake named Slynella back to the sycamore. The flying snakes of Ambala were said to have healing properties on one point of their forked tongue while on the other point it was said that they had lethal venom. Upon arriving at the sycamore tree, Slynella was able to administer her life-saving medicine to Soren. During his feverish state, Soren conversed with Mist and found out along with Gylfie that she was the real Hortense, previously thought to be dead. Streak had caught her when Finny had pushed her off the highest cliff of the hatchery (her wings were crippled so she could not fly to save herself). It turned out that Streak had grabbed her at the last minute. Because of her starsight, Mist informed the chaw of chaws that the Pure Ones were massing to lay siege on the Great Ga'Hoole Tree.
Upon hearing this news, the chaw of chaws flew back as quick as they could to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. The parliament formed a war council and preperations for war began. Air traps were layed, caches were dug and the storage hollows were enlarged all in the name of war. After doing his work, Soren had a dream about Kludd and a beautiful Barn Owl (Nyra) and that he had fallen into his own trap. The band then listend through the roots to the plans of the parliament concerning the first tactical movements that would involve the Strix Struma Strikers. Unknown to the band, Otulissa had been selected to fight in this elite force: an event that both made her very nervous while proud and the same time. The first movements of the Pure Ones were met with failure; many were scattered by the Strix Struma Strikers and the rest were caught in the air traps. However this was only intended as a distraction for Kludd had a small division of owls strike off of the far side of Hoolmere where the defenses weren't as weak. The defenses of the Guardians were broken and and invading force had landed on the island. Inside the tree, the band started to grow wary of Dewlap's odd behavior and wondered why at times she would be praised for her effort. With the onset of winter, the food stock started to grow thin and the owls of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree began to starve. Despite the grim outlook, Soren came up with a plan for the pincer movement that would catch the Pure Ones in between the forces of the Guardians. The band recognized this possibility and went to Octavia who went to fetch Ezylryb. Ezylryb agreed with the idea but cautioned that the project must be kept top secret because there were rumoured to be leaks of information that he suspected to be because of Dewlap.
After about two weeks, the Guardians had dug their way out behind the enemy without Dewlap's interference (Ezylryb had informed her of a similar project being done in the opposite direction), led by Sylvana. During their mounted attack, Soren and Martin were attacked by Nyra, the owl of his dream, with blood on her face. She was joined by Kludd and Wortmore, who began their advance on Soren with the intention of killing him. Before they could, Slynella joined the fray which forced the murderous owls and ultimately, the Pure Ones to retreat. Though they won the war, they weren't without losses: Strix Struma had been killed. After the Final Ceremony, Soren had another dream about the female Barn Owl that was with Kludd. Soren flew down to Otulissa's hollow, and confirmed his suspicion that the Barn Owl had killed Strix Struma. Otulissa said she was known as Nyra and that she was his brother's mate. Soren knew this as well and told Otulissa that he had dreamt it. Otulissa replied that Soren had starsight which enabled him to see things that might possibly happen. For Soren, the stars were little holes in the cloth of a dream. Otulissa then revealed she was making an invasion plan to go after the Pure Ones and she encouraged Soren to dream for the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- This is the fourth of six Guardians of Ga'Hoole books to include illustrations of the main and minor characters that appear in the book.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Next Book: The Shattering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -