cover image The Radiant Road

The Radiant Road

Katherine Catmull. Dutton, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-95347-0

Clare Macleod learns that she is the guardian of a gate between worlds in this numinous fantasy from Catmull (Summer and Bird). When Clare was small, before her mother died, her family lived in an ancient stone house in modern Ireland with a living yew tree in it. After years of aimless grief, Clare and her father return to the house, and Clare finds that the tree has a door. On the other side of the door is a boy named Finn, who isn’t exactly human, and both Finn and the doors are threatened by a vicious enemy. Catmull’s take on fairies uses conventional elements in original ways, building a stunningly atmospheric, gorgeously complicated dream of a book. Genuinely frightening and eerie moments are drawn as masterfully as the joyous, glowing, peculiar images that populate Catmull’s version of a world inexorably linked to, yet separate from, our own. The gentle romance between Clare and Finn is understatedly believable, the quiet emotional core of a story that deserves the word epic. Ages 12–up. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger. (Jan.)