Remember the fascination Rumer Godden's first novel, held for imaginative readers? Well, The holds much the same magic, the same quality of translating the reader to another world. Though the time is only 100 years ago, civilization in the heart of the Himalayas, where the story is set, seems to stem back into pagan days, when the mysteries of Nature were attributed to the all-powerful, all-fearful god, symbolized by the mountain Mungaysar. The young Hislord was absolute ruler, though his people had not learned to love him. There was a ferment of rebellion, highlighted by the feud between the city folk, newcomers, and the country folk, with their village states subject to Hislord. This is a tale of buried hates and loves, of petty feuds, of the impact of city on country, of rebellion against taxes and laws -- and of how young lovers surmounted all obstacles- and won. An external factor, hinting at worlds outside their own, brought things to a head, as the old ways fought to hold the tide against the new, symbolized by the young Hislord's almost fanatical desire to solve the mystery of time in the clocktower that menaced the power of superstitious faith in his people. Told in a rhythm that sets the mood and pace, the story carries one along a new and uncharted path of exploration into distant and exotic ways. Watch it.