There's hidden places all over this land-old, old places. Places with a chain for them to chain up the wolf when it's time.
A bone-chilling tale of werewolves and love, set in medieval Scotland
A mysterious young man has come to a small Highland town. His talent for wood carving soon wins the admiration of the weaver's daughter, Maddie. Fascinated by the silent carver, she sets out to gain his trust, only to find herself drawn into a terrifying secret that threatens everything she loves.
There is an evil presence in the carver's life that cannot be controlled, and Maddie watches her town fall under a shadow. One by one, people begin to die. Caught in the middle, Maddie must decide what matters most to her-and what price she is willing to pay to keep it.
This spine-tingling tale by the author of the Hollow Kingdom trilogy features a plucky heroine, a stranger with a dark secret and an angry mob. War has diminished the field of eligible bachelors in Maddie's medieval Scottish village, so when a handsome and talented young woodcarver comes to town as sidekick to a peddler, she's instantly interested. No sooner than he arrives, though, strange things start happening. Maddie fends off a menacing creature during the full moon, the young man is grievously attacked by something with sharp claws and a baby is born with "the mouth of a beast," and soon dies. The superstitious villagers have various suspects the folkloric Water Horse; a vicious creature who lives in the loch; Lady Mary, the cronish lone inhabitant of the ramshackle castle; and finally, the carver's peddler friend, Ned, who has a taste for drink and a sharp tongue. Ned's murder (and subsequent decapitation) adds a gruesome element to this Beauty and the Beast variant. Maddie knows the identity of the real culprit, and must be willing to risk her life to end its threat. Her devotion to the carver, who is nearly mute and devoid of personality, isn't convincingly established, and the title an allusion to the fingers of two hands is also a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, Dunkle creates a menacing atmosphere for this chillingly good tale. Readers will cheer Maddie on as she wrestles and conquers her deepest fears. Ages 12-up.