“A fast-paced fantasy with lots of adventure... The action-packed short chapters make the novel a great read-aloud and a must-purchase for public and school libraries serving middle school readers.” – Voice of Youth Advocates
There’s something odd about the village of Enton and the huge deserted mansion that looms above it.
There’s something odd about the village of Enton. Tim knows it just as soon as he arrives to spend the summer with his grandparents, who have a flower nursery there. But no one in the village ever buys flowers, just the tourists and visitors to the village. And not only do they not buy flowers, they don’t grow any either. The only flowers in the village are at the nursery greenhouse.
But that’s only the beginning of the oddness. There’s a huge, old deserted mansion that sits at the top of a hill on the edge of town. Eli, who works for Tim’s grandparents, tells him that the stonemason who built it vanished years ago, along with his wife, leaving behind all their possessions. It was as if they had been spirited away by someone or something. All the villagers avoid the mansion now, and the big meadow that leads up to it.
Then not long after Tim gets to town, Hunter moves into the mansion, and hires Tim and his grandfather to plant thousands of flowers in the meadow and around the house. And as Tim is working one afternoon, he realizes he isn’t alone. A slender girl with long blonde hair and eyes that change color constantly is watching him. She asks him about the flowers and Tim promises to show her the nursery greenhouse later that night.
When Sarre, for that is the girl’s name, sees the flowers, she has many questions. Afterwards, she and Tim walk up to the barn next to the mansion, where Sarre says she has friends waiting for her. No sooner do they enter the barn, than Hunter drops a net onto the two of them and the five little men who are waiting for Sarre, trapping all of them. But Hunter means no harm, he just wants the little men to take him with them to Tallis. And while they are arguing about it, fire erupts at the entrance of the barn. Now none of them has any choice. The only way out is through the maze of tall columns at the back of the barn, which is also the way to Tallis, a world not far from earth, where people live as if they are in the Middle Ages, and Chanters and Warlocks wield magic powers. It is a land torn apart by the struggle between good and evil, and Hunter, Tim and Sarre are about to become part of that struggle.
Who will win, and what will be their reward? Come to the land of stone trees and floating leaves, of traveling traders who ride huge pigs, of poisoned arrows fired by roving bands of wild children, a land of wonder and wisdom, a land of evil and fear and revenge, and find out for yourself.
This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart