One minute it's a baby, the next it's an egg."" Yes, and the ivy twines to order, the earth rumbles at the stamp of a foot. This is the Country of the Four Families, each with its own Power; but, strangely (!), none has power over the animals--which is where, inconstruably at first, the Eggchild comes in. It's also one of those never-never lands where anything can happen because the author holds all the cards. The glowing, humming Eggchild is found by ten-year-old Rosemary and her twelve-year-old brother Corrie (Coriander), who can command the plants; and with their fifteen-year-old cousin Jasper, the (yes) stone-splitter, they attempt to keep it from mysteriously malignant Doppel and his Night Raiders. Along on the flight is four-year-old, baby-talking Shrimp, also a sometime-animal, sometime-child. He and the Eggchild, it turns out, are the offspring of Lord Adler Windhover and Lady Swanilda, who do have Power over the animals, dragons and winged steeds included--a Power that Doppel seeks in order to conquer all. In the only plot development of any interest--albeit a trendy one--Rosemary, Corrie, Jasper, and others of their generation rebel against the foot-dragging of their elders (""We are the future decision-makers"") and trigger the rout of Doppel and his crew. The writing is pedestrian, the characterization is limited to an attribute each, the fantasy is hollow make-believe.