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- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
- Format: Hardback | 368 pages
- Dimensions: 142mm x 212mm x 36mm | 460g
- Publication date: 29 October 2013
- ISBN 10: 0545166667
- ISBN 13: 9780545166669
- Sales rank: 372,526
Winner of the 2014 Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, from the author of PLAIN KATE At the very edge of the world live the Shadowed People. And with them live the dead. There, in the village of Westmost, Otter is born to power. She is the proud daughter of Willow, the greatest binder of the dead in generations. It will be Otter's job someday to tie the knots of the ward, the only thing that keeps the living safe. Kestrel is training to be a ranger, one of the brave women who venture into the forest to gather whatever the Shadowed People can't live without and to fight off whatever dark threat might slip through the ward's defenses. And Cricket wants to be a storyteller -- already he shows the knack, the ear -- and already he knows dangerous secrets. But something is very wrong at the edge of the world. Willow's power seems to be turning inside out. The ward is in danger of falling. And lurking in the shadows, hungry, is a White Hand, the most dangerous of the dead, whose very touch means madness, and worse. Suspenseful, eerie, and beautifully imagined.
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Erin Bow was born in the Midwest and studied particle physics in college, eventually working at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. She then decided to leave science in order to concentrate on her love of writing. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband James and their two daughters. Erin Bow can be visited online at www.erinbow.com.
"Grief beats at the heart of adolescence in this fantasy version of North America.For the free women of the forest, death is a complex, dangerous thing: The dead are bound, and some rise again as White Hands, whose touch brings madness and transformation. Bow's lyrical writing, which beats like the storyteller's drum Cricket and, later, Orca wield, tells a story both specific and timeless. The conflict between tradition and change, the tensions between mothers and daughters, and the journey west (itself both physical and metaphorical) all play a role. Within the grand thematic scope is a simpler story, reminiscent of the timeless hero's journey: Otter, the binder's daughter, untrained and called upon to face great threats, must use the tools of tradition and forbidden knowledge (a secret story echoes throughout the novel) to remake the world. Add to that epic scope two love stories, a genuine portrait of friendship, a nuanced exploration of loss and letting go, and a fine tracery of humor as well as plenty of tears, and you have a winner.A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed. " - "Kirkus "reviews