When the swamp begins to dry up, age-old tensions between true toads and horned toads intensify as both communities battle for dwindling resources. The horned toaditicians devise a plan to take control of the swamp’s government. After successfully buying up most of their real estate and operating all businesses on that side of the swamp, the horned toads take over The Grassland, where a large tribe of alpacas and llamas have lived in peace for twelve generations. Through a savvy media effort and unlimited defense budget, their next step is to govern the nation’s airwaves.
Franz and Langston True Toad are lifelong friends who begin working at Pierce Horned Toad’s restaurant, eventually embarking on an expedition across The Grassland to work at their Toadavision swamptory. Dreamt up by Pierce and his toaditician friends—Alamo, Rolls, Bimpy, Jewels, Lorrilard and Alan GreenToad—the horned toads attempt to complete the vision of their deceased leader and savior, Ronald Goldtoad. With the help of an insane figurehead, Zoot the Newt, as well as the TEO-turned-toaditician Young Ramtoad from Silver Spoon, the horned toads only have to convince the alpacallama tribe, led by its spiritual leader, Dolly Lama, and two young alpacas, Lorenzo and Daxalon, that their intentions are truly for the good of all animals.
The last step for the horned toads is climbing to the top of Mount Bantu and setting up a communications tower. Unfortunately for them, this is where the Sun People reside, and they’ve been watching the forceful takeover all along.
Rise of the Sun People is Derek Beres’s sixth book and first to feature an all-animal cast of characters. Just as George Orwell’s Animal Farm took a snapshot of pre-World War II Stalinism, in this novella Beres succinctly captures the fractured political climate taking place after Obama was elected president, a phase in which the most outlandish social policies and narrow political ideologies are being seriously debated in a culture too distracted by its technologies to pay attention to America’s place in the world. Inspired by comic books in India that teach children and teens the vast mythologies of that culture, Rise of the Sun People introduces and examines current national social and political ideologies to readers of all ages.
As with us human animals, the world’s most important themes—friendship, love and community—shine on throughout these pages. A modern mythology in a time of turmoil, Rise of the Sun People reminds us of our humanity by shining a light on some of our most dire problems, offering hope and the conviction to create a better today.