Katharine Orton
Walker Books

With her exquisite descriptions Katharine Orton brings her own special brand of magic to this sparkling fantasy tale.

To live in the shadow of Mountainfell, is to live in perpetual fear be it from witches cursed with hex-magic, the cloud dragon that terrorises the community, or from the earth-shaking tremors rolling down from the wild mountains.

Erskin, a shy lonely girl and her elder sister, Birgit, are the children of the mountain keeper, the guardian of their village of Lofotby; and when Birgit is snatched by the dragon, Erskin knows she must summon all her courage to embark on the journey of a lifetime to find her and bring her back home.

What ensues is a perilous quest that not only tests Erskin’s determination and bravery but some of her long held beliefs and she finds herself searching not only for her sibling but much more besides.

She makes some surprising friends, meets a least one heinous villain and there’s magic aplenty as she finds out more about that supposedly deadly dragon. She also has to try and avert an ecological crisis and learns to accept herself as she is, thanks in no small part to a friend she makes, who accompanies her on her journey.

This is one of those books where you are desperate to discover how the breathtaking adventure turns out, but equally, you don’t want the story to end; it’s just so brilliant and for me Katharine Orton’s best yet.

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