R. S. Markel

Book 2

Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things

Discovery beckons, friendships blossom and dark clouds loom as Lillybeth and Hinsberth once again waddle into adventure.

Prepare to soar on an incredible adventure as clever Lillybeth and kindhearted Hinsberth innocently set off to solve an ancient mystery and have their quest quickly turn to a dire imperative after a dear friend falls gravely ill and they discover the answer just might help save her life. Braving a flood, a menacing group of badgers who have lost their home and the ominous warnings of terrible danger awaiting them, the brave and determined ducklings will band together with their feathered and furry friends and be pushed to the limits of strength and courage on an epic journey to find The Essence of Things. An intensely uplifting tale of hope, courage and determination, Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things is a timeless testament to the profound power of love.

Appropriate for advanced readers of all ages, Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things is 550 pages and available at the bookstores listed below.

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Grown-up Reviews


Deborah Galea rated it ★★★★★
I have just started reading this book with my daughter and we are already loving it. As in the first book, the characters are very endearing and lovable. I particularly like the description of the great Chrysalis dome that the mayor visits. You can imagine exactly what it must have looked like and how the mayor would have been very impressed. Excited to find out how this adventure unfolds!


Christine Washington rated it ★★★★★
The Essence of Things continues the adventures of Lillybeth, her friends and community into a variety of real-life situations that are not often explored, let alone so skillfully dealt with, as in this book. It is so refreshing to have a story with a protagonist, a young female duck, who is thoughtful and brave without being brazen or obnoxious. While the setting is a delightful hamlet in which a community of animals live their modest and sometimes adventuresome lives, the true-to-life interactions and situations resonate so fully that I felt as if I were truly living in this heartfelt world.

Expert Reviews

Franchesca (age 12) rated it ★★★★★
I loved these books, for all of the strong, courageous, but still realistically different, ducklings that populate The Farm and beyond. I fell in love with Lillybeth, a strong, proud, and determined little duck, and Hinsberth, a smart, humorous, and studious duckling. The Edges of Things and The Essence of Things are must reads.
Lillybeth and Hinsberth: The Essence of Things

The Books


The Morning Conversation

R. S. Markel has invited Mr. Abselard, a dear porcine friend, confidant and resident of The Farm, to share a few thoughts on a wide smattering of topics gleaned from the pig's venerable tradition of the morning conversation. We do hope you enjoy this new addition.
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Hinsberth Running


Sign up to receive R. S. Markel's newsletter "The Anati Daily" and receive updates on news and events and the forthcoming third installment to the heartwarming Lillybeth and Hinsberth trilogy.
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Hinsberth Presents

Speaking Engagements

Follow your dreams! Author, illustrator, scientist, engineer and generally curious character R. S. Markel is available to present The Wisdom of Ducklings at your next event or engagement.
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R. S. Markel
Photo by Tracy Burke Photography


I am a writer and illustrator of books for young (and young at heart) readers who have a passion for exploring fantastic places, impossible events, and the magic and mysteries of our world. Please feel free to read a bit about my work and peruse the character essays and illustrations. I do hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the whimsical world of Lillybeth and Hinsberth.

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R. S. Markel - Milchester