Jack is amazed to have caused an earthquake. He is thirteen, after all, and only a bard-in-training. But his sister, Lucy, has been stolen by the Lady of the Lake; stolen a second time in her young life, as he learns to his terror. Caught between belief in the old gods and Christianity (790 AD, Britain), Jack calls upon his ash wood staff to subdue a passel of unruly monks, and, for his daring, ends up in a knucker hole. It is unforgettable -- for the boy and for readers -- as are the magical reappearance of the berserker Thorgil from a burial by moss; new characters Pega, a slave girl from Jack's village, and the eager-to-marry-her Bugaboo (a hobgoblin king); kelpies; yarthkins; and elves (not the enchanted sprites one would expect but the fallen angels of legend). Rarely does a sequel enlarge so brilliantly the world of the first story.
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"[T]his fantasy is truly remarkable with the blending of the myths and ancient Christian tales." - VOYA
"[An] entrancing if lengthy sequel...filled with magic, danger, and humor, will appeal to all fantasy fans who enjoyed the acclaimed first book." - KLIATT
"As the middle volume of a planned trilogy set in eighth-century Britain, this takes its shape from the whole: It can stand on its own, but it mostly enlarges the world of the first volume. It's not the quest itself that's memorable, but the majestic sweep of Farmer's storytelling" - Kirkus Reviews
"Starred Review. Like the druidic life force Jack taps, this hearty adventure, as personal as it is epic, will cradle readers in the "hollow of its hand." - Booklist
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Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor Books: The Ear the
Eye and the Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion,
which, in 2002, also won the National Book Award. Other books include Do
You Know Me, The Warm Place, and three picture books for young children.
She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and now lives with her family in
Menlo Park, California.
Bibliography (to June 2008)
Novels and picture books
Nancy Farmer: Nansee FAHR-muhr
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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