Gecko Press 2013 $29.99pb 448 pages
ISBN 978 1 8775 7953 0
To be published June 7 2013
Themes: Coal Mines/ Disasters/ Fantasy/ Love stories/ Magic
In 1929, thirty years before the beginning of the story, a very unusual coal mine disaster happened in Southland, the setting for the writer’s earlier (and much read and admired) young adult stories Dreamhunter and Dreamquake. It is to research this disaster (although unwillingly at first) that sixteen-year-old Canny Mochrie comes with her older stepbrother, Sholto. While she is there she wanders into an enchanted valley where she meets not only a group of children all bearing the same surname and capable of making good magic but also an engaging but darkly mysterious young man, Ghislain. Canny has always known there is something out of the ordinary about her and it is here in the valley with the help of Ghislain (and the children) she discovers what it is and how it relates back to the disaster all those years ago.
Is this enough to whet your appetite?
The whole book is painted over with a patina of something enchantingly extra in characterisation, plot, dialogue and setting and it is just possible, in spite of its 448 pages, to gobble it up at one greedy sitting and then to settle down for a more luxurious re-read.
Although the book is not published until June, already there are queues of anxious readers asking about and waiting to read this, the first venture into a young adult novel from Gecko Press.
Year 9 up/ Age 13 up (plus adults)
(And for newcomers to Elizabeth’s YA books Southland is a large island republic in the South Pacific in a world almost like our own but….)