Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle’s household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine where a precious stone is being stolen by an enemy of the king, and later to the king’s own halls, where a figure from Annie’s past makes a startling appearance. All the while, reported sightings of kinderstalk— mysterious, wolf-like creatures that prowl Howland’s dark forests—grow more frequent. Eloquent, suspenseful, and imbued with fairy-tale motifs found in The Brothers Grimm, this is a riveting coming-of-age story of a girl who must learn to trust her instincts if she’s to lead the people she is destined to rule.
About the Author
M.E. (Molly) Breen lives in San Francisco, where she works as a literacy advocate through the Carnegie Foundation. A graduate of Yale University, Molly has taught at both Yale and Stanford University. This is her first novel.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books (May 12, 2009)