The people of the Valley have been protected by powerful magic for twenty generations. No enemies from the Empire on its borders can penetrate the ...Show synopsisThe people of the Valley have been protected by powerful magic for twenty generations. No enemies from the Empire on its borders can penetrate the poisoned forests to the south or the deadly glaciers to the north. But the spell is weakening...Setting out to challenge the might of the evil Emperor and his powerful magicians are young Tilja, her three companions and an obstinate horse. They must seek a mythical figure from centuries ago - and on their long and perilous journey Tilja discovers her own strange power. It will enable her to enter the Empire's most guarded fortress, and discover the identity of the one they call the Ropemaker - a man who controls the rope of time itself...Peter Dickinson's first novel of high fantasy is a work of extraordinary inventiveness, rich and vast in its scope - creating a new and brilliant world for all readers who love the power of magic.Hide synopsis
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What a wonderful story. This is my first experience reading Dickinson's full-length work, and he is just as masterful here as he is in the short story category. He certainly has a fertile imagination, and has used it to full effect here. The Valley, in which our main characters live, is a vibrant, safe habitat where the desolation and cruelty of the neighboring Empire have been shut out...for just twenty generations. It is up to two children and their grandparents to seek out those who can renew this protection. Dickinson has invested the story with such urgency and need that the narrative doesn't easily let the reader go. He doesn't insult his audience with a pat ending, choosing instead to address the complexities and politics of the world he created. His characterization is thorough and detailed, as is his imagery. Dickinson is now on my "authors to watch for" list.
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