Twelve-year-old Ash Narro is often teased for naming and talking to dolls, sticks, and other objects like her trusty carpetbag, Wayfarer. But lately things in her small frontier village have been getting much harder for Ash. An ongoing drought, increased attacks from the forest-dwelling dao fora, and stormy assaults from the mysterious shape-shifting illwen have brought out the worst in the frightened villagers. Even Ash’s mom isn’t acting like herself anymore.
One night, during a terrible illwen attack, Ash sneaks out and discovers that she can tame the raging illwen by giving them a true name. After forming unlikely friendships with an illwen she names Puppy, and with Fen, the dao fora boy who’s been taken prisoner by her village, Ash is called a traitor to her people. Together, Ash, Fen, and Puppy, must journey into the heart of the forest to discover what caused things in her village, and in Fen’s forest, to go so horribly wrong.
The perils of deforestation and the magic of friendship are explored through a fantastical adventure involving giant mistcats, tempestuous forest spirits, and a girl with a special gift for speaking the words that shape what things become.
A Middle Grade Environmental Fantasy by
Coming Fall 2021