Judith Pratt, Writer
Casey sat on the Rock. The stone outcrop loomed above Aunt Cill’s house, which loomed above the surrounding forest. To the north, tall fir trees grew, smelling like balsam and comfort. To the south, white oak trees lifted their fluffy June leaves almost as high as the Rock. Up here, Casey could forget her problems. The scents of dusty grass and warm stone brought childhood memories of building secret hideouts underneath sumac trees and blueberry bushes. That’s what I need, thought Casey, a secret hideout.
She sat in the niche where she and her sister once created fantastic landscapes and stories. A little grass grew there, making a seat where you could watch the sky. Instead of the sky, however, Casey watched an odd green-gray leaf flutter down—and up—and down. Not a leaf; a green-gray butterfly floating among the cedar and sumac trees. She’d never seen a butterfly that color. Maybe they were new to Maine.
Suddenly, the cedar and sumac bent in a wind. Casey could hear it howling through the forest below. Getting to her feet, she saw the oak and fir trees thrashing like they were in a hurricane. A sumac snapped. But the sky stayed blue, and her frizzy red curls stayed flat with sweaty summer heat.
And the butterfly kept floating.
Cover by Julie Manners
Print Version on Amazon! https://amzn.to/2MuYveh
What's in those woods that line the superhighways? Andrea finds out when she meets Eraustaak, one of the Bokaaj who live in those buffer zone woods. She spends a glorious summer with him, learning how to climb trees and hide from Vaask, a Bokaaj who hates Andrea and people like her. She meets the Siljeea, whose magic keeps the Bokaaj safe.
But then Andrea discovers how hard to be a hero, especially if you're only thirteen and your stepfather wants everyone to be Safe.
Excerpts from The Dry, Siljeea Magic, and The Skill.
THE DRY COUNTRY
Miskin stood at the Gate.
Above her, the wall stretched higher than two men standing. It wound to the west and east as far as Miskin could see. No one could get into the Dry Country unless they hiked many leagues to the end of the wall. If anyone could be stupid enough to go all the way around just to avoid paying a Guide, they deserved their fate--to be lost in the Dry forever.
Miskin had always wanted to cross the Dry Country, to see it change shape as she walked across it, to feel its strange visions. Now she'd saved enough coin to sign up for a journey with a Guide. Guides could find their way through the shifting landscape. Guides could lead travelers through the Dry to the endless possibilities of Mairewald, Mairport, and the unimaginable ocean.