|US Cover Artist:||Leonid Gore|
|UK Cover Artist:||Robin Jarvis|
- This summary is incomplete
The Dark Portal is the first book in the Deptford Mice Trilogy by Robin Jarvis.
The story begins in the sewers of Deptford. Albert Brown had succumbed to the charms of the Grill and gotten himself lost in the dark tunnels. It was there that he met the young city mouse Piccadilly and the two quickly became friends. After hours of wandering around they found themselves at the altar of Jupiter himself. Albert wanted to listen to Jupiter's evil plans, knowing that they would affect everyone. Unfortunately, before he could escape, Albert was grabbed by Morgan, Jupiter's lieutenant. He threw his mousebrass to Piccadilly, instructing him to give it to "Gwennie" (Gwen Brown, Albert's wife.) Albert was killed shortly afterward. Piccadilly ran through the sewers, terrified and unsure of what to do . This same day was the Great Spring Ceremony, the time when the mice who have come of age receive their mousebrasses. This year, Albert's children would be given theirs. The Browns had been worried about Albert. He had been missing for a day and a night. Arthur Brown and his mother had been able to accept the fact that Albert had most likely been killed, but Audrey still desperately wanted to believe her father was alive. The Great Spring Celebration started, and Arthur was given his brass, The Sign of Family. When Audrey went to get hers, she was shocked and amazed to see The Green Mouse himself, who gave her a special charm with the face of a cat on it -- The Anti-Cat Charm. When Audrey heard about a fortune-telling rat who was currently in the area, she decided to go to see her, hoping that she could tell her where her father was. Madame Akkikuyu was surprised to see a "mouselet" in the sewers. In exchange for the two silver bells on her tail, Akkikuyu agreed to tell Audrey her fortune (despite the fact that Akkikuyu possessed no magical powers and only acted as if she did.) Due to some incorrect information that Akkikuyu told her, Audrey quickly determined that the rat was a phony and angrily stormed off. Disturbingly, some visions had appeared to Akkikuyu in her crystal ball and, wondering if Audrey had something to do with what she had seen, the rat immediately set out to find her. Audrey had ran into Piccadilly and when he realized who she was, he sadly told her what had happened to Albert. Still in denial about her father's death, Audrey refused to believe him, calling him a liar. Meanwhile, Arthur and his friends Twit Scuttle and Oswald Chitter had entered the sewers to look for Audrey after checking everywhere else. Soon after, they were attacked by a band of rats. Audrey and Piccadilly arrived just in time to fend them off. Wordlessly the friends dashed back through the Grill. Once they were in the cellar, Piccadilly introduced himself and said that he needed to see Gwen Brown. As Audrey dusted herself off, she realized that her mousebrass was gone, and that she had lost it in the sewers. The group continued up the steps and into the Skirtings. As Gwen listened to Piccadilly's story, she took it calmly. She had sensed that Albert wasn't coming back. Audrey still insisted that Piccadilly was lying. Later, Audrey informed Twit and Oswald about the situation with her mousebrass. She told them that the Green Mouse had given it to her, so it must have been very important. Unfortunately, Audrey's mother had forbidden her to enter the sewers again, so she was unable to retrieve it herself. Twit and Oswald agreed to go back into the sewers and look for it. It was at this time that Piccadilly happened by. Audrey hinted that she wanted him to go look for her mousebrass, wanting him to prove that he wasn't a coward. And so, Piccadilly said that he would go instead of Twit. He and Oswald then slipped through the Grill, leaving Audrey feeling very guilty for how she had acted.