Eliza Serling embarks on a transformative quest when a strange wolf attacks her younger sister.
Eliza, nearly 12, lives on Cape Fen with Pa and Winnie, her sister. After her mother’s mysterious disappearance four years ago, Eliza stopped dreaming about a future away from Cape Fen and tries to be a sister and mother to Winnie. Baron Dire, descendent of the first Dire Witch, who arrived on Cape Fen in 1811, controls the island, imprisoning its inhabitants for the magic their dreams provide. When the baron’s Wolf companion unexpectedly lunges at Winnie, Eliza’s stunned: Dire and his Wolf cannot hurt someone unless they have bargained with him, and neither Eliza nor Winnie has ever bargained. Determined to protect Winnie, Eliza searches for clues explaining the Wolf’s attack. Did Pa bargain with Dire? Did Aunt Zilpha? Could her missing mother have bargained with Dire to escape Cape Fen? With the Wolf lurking, Eliza discovers surprising things about her origins and her family and eventually realizes she, too, must bargain with Dire if she hopes to save Winnie and herself. Unfolding gradually as Eliza relentlessly pieces the past together, this intriguing mystery culminates in a startling, literally transforming climax. Black-and-white chapter heads echo the dream theme.
Laced with dreams, this perplexing fantasy rewards persistent readers. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)