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“I’d like some kind of medal, definitely. Gold, with ‘fearsome killer of ogres’ on it. No wait, how about ‘supreme slayer of monsters?’” Hogsqueal. —The Wrath of Mulgarath
The Wrath of Mulgarath
The Spiderwick Chronicles #5
by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
In the fifth and final installment of the Spiderwick Chronicles, the Grace children must battle Mulgarath’s goblin army to save their mother and reclaim the Field Guide. With the help of Thimbletack, Hogsqueal, and Byron, the Grace children attempt to sneak up on Mulgarath’s goblin army. Can the small group defeat a fierce army of goblins and Mulgarath? Are the children doomed to lose everything they hold dear?
All of the characters and creatures come together in a satisfying conclusion. The griffin, Thimbletack, and Hogsqueal unite to help the Grace children rescue their mother and defeat Mulgarath. Book five of the series is darker and has some potentially disturbing descriptions. Although the final battle ends with a satisfying surprise, reading descriptions of Mulgarath’s evil deeds may disturb younger readers. In an attempt to trick the children, Mulgarath shapeshifts to appear like their father. Jared is able to see through Mulgarath’s trick and, in the end, saves his family from Mulgarath’s wrath.
Like the previous books, the Grace Children work together and come to one another’s aid when needed. When Jared’s mother finally learns the truth about Jared’s strange behavior, there is a heartwarming apology. The ending doesn’t ignore the natural consequences of Jared’s bad behavior but ends with the hopeful possibility that life will be better. In the end, Aunt Lucinda moves in with the Grace family and there is peace between the children, Thimbletack, and the family cat. When the exciting series comes to an end, the readers will be left with a smile and characters that they will remember for a long time to come.
- Mulgarath kidnaps the Grace children’s mother. When the children find her, she is in “one corner, bound, gagged, and unconscious.”
- Goblins attacked Thimbletack. The fight is not described, but Jared finds Thimbletack, who “had a long, raw scratch on his shoulder and that his hat was missing.” He also had a black eye.
- A griffin grabs a hobgoblin by the arm. “The griffin shook his head, whipping Hogsqueal back and forth.” Simon hit the griffin, “Hard on the beak with his hand,” hoping to get the griffin to let go of Hogsqueal.”
- Thimbletack threatens a hobgoblin saying, “No. We’ll set rats to nibble off your toes, poke out your eyes, and put them up your nose. Your fingers we’ll remove with dull scissors, and we’ll wait until your confidence withers.”
- Goblins attack the Grace children. The battle is described over three pages. During the fight, two goblins, “Grabbed hold of his (Jared’s) legs and toppled him into the dirt.” Mallory uses her swords to chase them away. One goblin “Jumped on her back, biting her shoulder.” The griffin appears and the children are able to escape.
- While Simon is riding the griffin, a dragon attacks. “The dragon twisted, teeth sinking into Byron’s feathered and furred body. . .” Simon falls off the griffin, injuring his arm. In order to distract the dragon, Simon, “who had never killed anything. . . stepped on the head of one of the baby dragons, crushing in into a smear under his shoe. It squealed. Dragon blood stained the ground and melted the edge of Simon’s heel.” The fight ends with Byron, “Plunging his beak into the creature’s neck, he rent it wide. The dragon went limp in Byron’s claws.” The action is described over seven pages.
- Mulgarath put fairies in honey. Simon tries to help, “but the honey was heavy and clung to their thick wings, tearing them. The sprites squealed as he set each one down on the table in a sticky, sodden heap. One was completely still and lay there limply, like a doll.”
- Mulgarath kicks Thimbletack. “The ogre kicked the brownie, his giant foot tossing Thimbletack across the room, where Thimbletack landed like a crumpled glove beside Mrs. Grace.”
- The story ends with an epic battle between the Grace children and Mulgarath, which is told over several chapters. At one point, Jared stabs Mulgarath in the foot with a sword. The battle ends with a funny surprise.
Drugs and Alcohol
- When Simon hits the griffin, his sister yells, “Oh Crap, don’t do that!”
- Hogsqueal calls the Grace names such as “beetle-guts”, “lump-meat,” and “chatter-basket.”
- Jared says, “I want Dad to be less of a jerk . . .”
- “Oh my god,” is used as an exclamation once.
- Mallory calls Jared an “idiot.”
- Goblins, Frey, griffins, and other creatures exist. These creatures have different magical abilities.
- Mulgarath is raising dragons. The dragons have “hundreds of teeth, thin as needles.” When a person touches a dragon, their skin burns.”
- Mulgarath is able to change shapes. In order to trick the children, he changes, making himself look like their father. “As Jared looked up into the familiar hazel eyes of his father, they started to turn pale yellow. His father’s body elongated, filling out, becoming a mammoth shape clad in the tattered remains of ancient finery. His hands became claws, and his dark hair twined together into branches.”
- The children meet their great-great-uncle Arthur Spiderwick, who the elves kept captive. Arthur meets his aged daughter. When Arthur goes to hug his daughter, his “foot touched the ground, his body turned to dust and then smoke.”