by Paula Johanson
June 1, 2015
They were stolen in the dark to work for a night and a day, building a tower for the wizard Krummholz on faraway Copper Island, in a place where the trees grow twisted in a poisoned bog.
Some of the unwilling workers were returned bewildered, bruised and marked by whips—others died as the uncaring wizard called new workers to his tower. Now Jenia is the only one left of her family willing to leave her orchards and walk five hundred miles in search of her abductor, and the answers to questions burning inside her.
Why was she stolen out of the dark? What is wrong at the heart of the tower? And why does the magic twisting the very trees strike a strangely familiar note? All Jenia knows for sure is that she will not let herself be made a prisoner again, not by magic nor by force of arms. When a soldier tries to trap her in a lord’s garden, and a village of gentle people tell her to give up her hopeless quest, Jenia has to choose where to place her trust: in friends, in strength, or in the cunning in her own two hands.
And then the wizard Krummholz sends his call out again….
A wealth of realistic detail lends authenticity to this engrossing tale of a young arborist, “a scholar of trees.” Paula Johanson has created a magical alternative world both mythic in feel, and hauntingly evocative of our own.
The Snow Queen
We need more stories where arborists are the heroes. Very unique.