When Kate travels to Blade, Oregon, for a quiet week at Aunt Melanie's cottage, her plans are dashed by the discovery of a grove of giant redwood trees in nearby Lost Crater. For thousands of years, no humans have entered the fog-filled crater--except possibly the Halami people, who lived in the region centuries ago before vanishing without a trace. Long a source of deep mystery, the crater is now a source of conflict, pitting those who see it as the dying mill town's last hope against those who see it as a rare sanctuary that should be protected.
Caught up in this struggle, Kate follows an old Halami trail into the crater, and suddenly is thrown back in time five hundred years. Accompanied by the trickster Kandeldandel, the loyal Laioni, and the young logger Jody, she meets strange and enigmatic creatures, none more frightening than the volcanic Gashra, bent on destroying everything he cannot control. To defeat him, Kate must find the answer to an ancient riddle--and the courage to make the most difficult choice of her life.
In this extraordinary quest, combining high adventure and heroic drama, a girl discovers that all living things are connected in ways she never expected, and that true friendship can reach across cultures, and even across centuries.
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An environmental fable that "evok[es] the power of Native American moods and mythologies" (Lloyd Alexander).From the Author:
For me, writing is exploring. Whether it's the surprising connections among people, the wondrous patterns of nature, or the mysterious wellsprings of the spirit--the universe beckons. I love to explore it, whether by foot or by pen.
Writing is both the most joyous--and most agonizing--labor I know. And it is by far the best way to travel--in our world or any other. Ever since my youth on a ranch in Colorado, I've felt passionate about nature--and about writing. I wrote and published my own magazine as a kid, called the Idiot's Odyssey, which sold about five copies an issue (including the ones my parents bought). I kept writing during my college years at Princeton, and during my years at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. During that time at Oxford, I composed stories and poems while hiking in the Scottish highlands, while sitting beneath the boughs of an English oak I named Merlin's tree, while backpacking through Asia, Africa, and the Arctic; and while participating in a traditional roof thatching in Japan. Even during my years managing a fast-growing business in New York City, I often rose before dawn to write.
Finally, I followed my dream to write full time. In 1990, I moved back to Colorado and started writing in the attic of my home, with the help of my wife and our five young children.
I am currently writing a five-book epic about the youth of Merlin. This epic gives me a chance to add a new dimension to the rich lore about this enduring figure. Why am I spending almost a decade writing about Merlin? Because he is much, much more than a great wizard. His story is, in truth, a metaphor--for the idea that all of us, no matter how weak or confused, have a magical person down inside--waiting to be discovered. If you would like more information about the epic or my other books, please visit my official tabarron website.
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