In Cornell’s brutal revenge tale set in 1982 England, ancient magic fuels a boy’s plans to punish those who relentlessly harass him. The Cherhill White Horse is carved out of chalk on a hillside in the West Country of Great Britain, and some believe magic lies there. Fourteen-year-old Andrew Waggoner learns that firsthand after he is maimed by the local bully and his posse. Soon Andrew has a new friend whom only he can see, a friend who promises revenge and a chance to be healed. When horrifying things begin to happen to his tormenters, Andrew’s classmate Angie Boden, who has discovered her own magic through a broken mirror and hit songs, begins to suspect something awful is coming for them. Adult Andrew’s retrospective first-person narration reveals an adolescent boy in terrible physical and psychological pain. Cornell (The Lost Child of Lychford) weaves human and supernatural horror together in powerful and disturbing ways. Children of the ’80s will get a thrill from the music references, and the climax at the Fasley Grange School Halloween disco couldn’t be more perfect. Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Mar.)
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