The Inquisitor’s Tale meets The Book of Boy in this adventurous fantasy inspired by the myth of Romulus and Remus.
Twelve-year-old Rae is content as the adopted daughter of shepherds, helping with the flock and reveling in the beauty of her family’s hillside farm. But after a frightening encounter with a wolf—to whom she feels a sudden, peculiar connection—Rae realizes there is much more to her past, and her future, than she could have imagined.
Meanwhile, a young girl named Alba goes about her days as an oracle’s apprentice, a duty that confines her to a distant, watery cave. But when she bestows a troubling prophecy on the rising boy-king, her words unintentionally begin a reign of terror, and send Alba on a desperate mission alongside Rae and the wolf.
Inspired by Roman mythology, this mysterious and uniquely magical adventure explores the intricate roles of nature and fate in our lives, the power of language to shape our world, and the boundless importance of love and kindness.
In this historical fantasy by Andrews (Spindlefish and Stars), loosely inspired by the tale of Remus and Romulus and set "in a distant, more brutal age," three tweens are brought together by fate to combat a capricious young king's treacherous reign. Alba is the slow-aging Oracle-Apprentice, capable of interpreting visions of the future. When she predicts a dreadful fate for an unnamed, newly crowned king, his rage prompts him to leave his newborn twin siblings for dead in the forest. One of the infants is raised by kindly shepherds, who name her Rae, while the boy is mystically bound into a wolf's body and roams the forest freely. When Rae turns 12, destiny brings the twins and Alba together as the king's mounting paranoia turns destructive. The narrative's ties to the original myth are thinly explored, and the vagueness of the setting, while occasionally lending a timeless quality that elevates the melancholic tone, often disorients. Intricate worldbuilding and a leisurely pace couple with poetic prose to render a protagonist whose careful dialogue emphasizes the way in which words—both spoken and written—can shape the world. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties.