The Spellkey

Ann Downer, Author Atheneum Books $13.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-689-31329-5
This confusing fantasy has some original elements in it, but it ultimately becomes the familiar tale of true knight and his lady. The Badger, son of an unmarried tanner's daughter, is raised in an abbey; Caitlin, with one green eye and one blue, is a sure daughter of the otherworld. Abandoned as an infant and raised in the forest by a half-mad witch, Caitlin herself is accused of witchcraft. When the Badger finds her, she is living in a barrow; returning to the abbey, Caitlin's punishment is imprisonment in the convent of Ninthstile, and it is Badger's duty to see her there. Their journey is precarious as they try to unlock the mystery of the Spellkey. There are only glimpses of a fresh approach in the writing here, which serves to remind readers aware of what the story lacks the rest of the time. Ages 10-up. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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