- € 8,49
Rob's sister Chloe lies in a coma after a riding accident, trapped in a forest of dreams between life and death. But when a dark druid shape-shifts his way into Rob's life, despair turns to hope. Because the druid knows the way through the Unworld, where he claims Chloe is imprisoned. Could the ominous black ring of timbers slowly emerging from a secret archaeological dig hold the key to rescuing her? And will Chloe want to be rescued from a world where the landscapes of story merge and blur, and she has the chance to be Queen? Catherine Fisher's new novel combines a fascinating exploration of Celtic myth with a modern quest for understanding. Where is the land of the imagination? And if we found our way would we ever want to come back?
Fisher (The Oracle Betrayed) infuses her haunting tale with the Celtic legend of Taliesin and Ceridwin. The story opens in Avebury near Stonehenge, where young Chloe has been in a coma for three months, the victim of a horseback riding accident. Her older brother, Rob, the principal protagonist, is goofing off with a friend in a field when he stumbles upon a pagan ritual in progress. Rob gets caught up in the rite, and ends up pulling a man named Vetch from a dark ditch in the ground. Vetch speaks in ominous tones: "The word is the reason I've come... the time and the place and the danger.... The word you want is... Darkhenge." Rob's skills as an artist land him a job working on the group's archaeological dig, which in time uncovers a mysterious tree that is growing upside-down, into the earth, planted 4,000 years ago as "an axis, a pole linking this place and the Unworld." Vetch turns out to be much more powerful than Rob first imagined; a journey to the Unworld below leads to a confrontation with the King that holds Chloe's psyche captive and not, it seems, entirely against her will. Fisher's story is just dark enough to stand out from the fantasy pack, and positive and exciting enough that it may well send readers scrambling for other texts on Celtic legends. Ages 12-up.