After his guardian dies, Maurey is reduced from student to unpaid servant at his grammar school and bullied because of his black hair and eyes, which make him look as if he is related to the sorcerers who once inhabited the island. When it is discovered that Maurey is indeed a descendant of one of those sorcerers, or Nightwalkers, he is sentenced to be burned alive. He and his young rescuer flee for the Nightwalkers' hidden kingdom.
K.V. Johansen has Master's Degrees in Medieval Studies and in English. She has held the Eileen Wallace Research Fellowship in Children's Literature and received the Frances E. Russell Award for research in children's literature in 2004. Johansen received the Canadian Authors' Association 2006 Lilla Stirling Award; she has had fiction titles nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Diamond Willow Award, shortlisted for the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians Book of the Year for Children Award, and included on the Ontario Library Association's "Best Bets Top Ten List" and VOYA's "Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror" list. For more information, visit www.pippin.ca.
"Johansen creates an elaborate world populated by complex
characters...Readers will look forward to the sequel."--VOYA
"The fast-paced adventure, compelling characters and conflicts that make sense will reward readers of this fully-realized fantasy."--Booklist
"All I can say is WOW!...Amazingly well-developed and imagined...intelligent and witty."--TeensReadToo.com
"Fantasy fans who favor rich settings are likely to find [the main character's] quest through dangerous landscapes...compelling."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Johansen has created a world and a cast of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed journeying with."--Resource Links
"A fast-paced adventure story...The main characters are multi-dimensional and should appeal to readers of either gender. Highly recommended."--CM Magazine
"The vaguely medieval fantasy past...gives [Johansen] a chance to use both her background as a medieval scholar and her fascination with The Lord of the Rings."--Quill & Quire
"Filled with pathos, humor and plenty of action, this should satisfy most YA fantasy readers...Sure to bring requests for the next in the series."--KLIATT
"The book is fantastical - set in medievalish worlds, with magical beings - but it is also quite realistic in the telling. Characters use magic as a tool, but they are forced to struggle and work for their goals, and magic does not become a prop to them. I really enjoyed this book."--Mad Tales blog
"Remarkably easy to get into and straight-forward. The characters of Maurey and Annot were interesting and relatable, and I liked the book's theme of acceptance."--Amy's Marathon of Books blog