Synopses & Reviews
Proclaimed as "both original and gripping" by PW in a starred review, Sally Prue's remarkable fantasy debut launches in a bold paperback edition. "This one's a keeper!" Horn Book proclaims.
Tom is both elfin and human, and running for his life. Cast out from the elfin Tribe, he must hide among the hated humans, whom the Tribe call "demons." Tom's Tribe-half seeks freedom and thrives on a connection with nature which lets him "call on the stars" and turn invisible when in danger. But Tom's human side is emerging, and he is confused and appalled by this change. For he fears the twining emotional bonds, which he sees literally as vines, that bind one human to another. But when he is helped by a kind "demon" girl, it is these strong bonds that save him-and draw him to his true home.
"British author Prue makes a noteworthy debut with this highly polished novel about a boy rejected from his elfin 'Tribe.' Even beautiful Sia, who 'calved' him, and skilled hunter Larn, his 'sire,' mock Tom for his seemingly feeble senses and his carelessness. Convinced that their son has 'demon' (human) characteristics that threaten the tribe, Sia and Larn decide to kill him. But Tom runs away and ends up in the city of the demons, which 'smell[s] like death.' Tom stumbles into a hut, where he meets a gentle girl named Anna who is hiding from her bullying half-brother. Tom begins to see, as a literal tangle of vines, the bonds that tie together these demons, whom he finds both cruel and inextricably linked to each other. Although he has the ability to temporarily stave off trouble by 'calling on the stars' and becoming invisible, Tom eventually realizes he is at the mercy of the imperfect demons, especially Anna, if he hopes to save his life, but he must compromise freedom for his connection to her. Prue gracefully layers her writing, weaving in references to the ballad of Tam Lin. The lyricism of her prose, combined with the startlingly raw and sympathetic views of human behavior, makes her novel both original and gripping. Ages 10-up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)