The Cry of the Icemark, Stuart Hill���s first novel is not only a remarkable debut but also a personal tribute. When he was a teenager, Stuart lost “the real Thirrin,” his red-haired sister Kathleen, to leukemia. The story of the brave young warrior-queen who faces impossible dangers is dedicated to her. The Cry of the Icemark won the Ottakars Prize for the best new children���s novel, an award given by one of Britain���s leading book chains. Fox 2000 Pictures will turn the story into a major motion picture and foreign rights have been sold to over 14 countries. Among his influences Stuart counts H. Rider Haggard, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Abbey���his former grade school teacher and a writer of historical novels. Before beginning The Cry of the Icemark, he asked himself what had grabbed his interest as a young reader. The answer? Heroes, magic, monsters, and talking beasts. From noble Snow Leopards to ancient Vampire royalty to ferocious Wolf-folk, the characters in Icemark are sure to spark the imagination of children everywhere, and Stuart is already at work on the sequel to Thirrin���s epic tale. Stuart was born in Leicester, in the East Midlands of England, where he still lives today. His family background includes English, Irish, Romany, and Jewish blood. Although, as a student, his grades were average at best, Stuart was fortunate to have a teacher who inspired in him a lifelong love of reading. Since leaving school, he has worked as a teacher and archaeologist, and now balances life as both a bookseller and an author.