Catherine Fisher, Author . HarperCollins/Eos $15.99 (340p) ISBN 978-0-06-078582-6

Fisher (The Oracle Betrayed ) infuses her haunting tale with the Celtic legend of Taliesin and Ceridwin. The story opens in Avebury near Stonehenge, where young Chloe has been in a coma for three months, the victim of a horseback riding accident. Her older brother, Rob, the principal protagonist, is goofing off with a friend in a field when he stumbles upon a pagan ritual in progress. Rob gets caught up in the rite, and ends up pulling a man named Vetch from a dark ditch in the ground. Vetch speaks in ominous tones: "The word is the reason I've come... the time and the place and the danger.... The word you want is... Darkhenge ." Rob's skills as an artist land him a job working on the group's archaeological dig, which in time uncovers a mysterious tree that is growing upside-down, into the earth, planted 4,000 years ago as "an axis, a pole linking this place and the Unworld." Vetch turns out to be much more powerful than Rob first imagined; a journey to the Unworld below leads to a confrontation with the King that holds Chloe's psyche captive—and not, it seems, entirely against her will. Fisher's story is just dark enough to stand out from the fantasy pack, and positive and exciting enough that it may well send readers scrambling for other texts on Celtic legends. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 04/10/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-219376-6
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-06-078584-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4481-0075-0
Library Binding - 340 pages - 978-0-06-078583-3
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-370-32859-1
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