The Dreamer, by Sue Hampton (paperback)
Set long ago and faraway this green allegory is an adventure that becomes desperate and dark. Moro, rich and heartless, holds the village at the foot of the mountain in his power, but he always wants more.
Lark, the mute peasant girl, has known no love since her mother died and can never please her father however hard she works. She carves the Flower Bird she sees in her dreams from clay and wood but it is destroyed by her bullying brother. She takes solace in her friend Fedor, the goat herd who has a limp and a kid called Nettle. Although Fedor never understood why his father left, he knows that when he sings, it’s his father’s voice he hears and he hasn’t lost hope of finding him again.
Lark and Fedor meet an old blind man who lives alone on the mountain and calls himself The Dreamer. They glimpse the magical world they see in his crystal story bowl which is beautiful and enticing, but when Moro discovers the crystal behind the waterfall, he thinks so too and covets it for himself.
There’s deception, temptation and danger as greed begins to destroy the life of the village and the weak are first to die.
Available in February 2015