First Published: HarperPrism, 1997
“…we are all Death’s pupils, we practitioners—students of the great healer.”
When magic broke free in my blood, I chose to follow our ancient family path and become a practitioner. I’m learning to heal, and to protect innocents. I dip into minds, stalk vampires, and set wards by the light of the moon. I can hear the children of the night calling.
But there are other families…and other paths. Families with twisted ambitions and frightening powers. On the frontier, folk whisper that one clan is the most dangerous of all.
Chief among those dark sorcerers is a man known as the Keeper of Souls.
And now he wants to keep mine.
“With a clear, distinctive voice, Katharine Kimbriel invents and re-invents magic on America’s frontier”
—Jane Yolen, the award-winning author of Briar Rose
“It is good to see this back—the Alfreda stories are one of the reasons YA is so dynamic today. …Little House on the Prairie meets Harry Potter, with a dash of Stephen King.”
—Sherwood Smith, author of Crown Duel
“I have not been so enthralled with a novel since Wrede’s Thirteenth Child. It takes talent to build a world so rich and lush that the reader cannot imagine it ever being differently, but that is exactly what Ms. Kimbriel has done.”
—April Steenburgh, So Many books, So Little Time
“charming…unusual…delightful…definitely worth checking out”
“This is one of the best historical dark fantasies I’ve ever read. …If you’ve not read any of Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s books yet, what’s stopping you?”
—Barb Caffrey, Shiny Book Review
“…Kimbriel made me almost miss my bus stop at work because I had to read just one more page.”
“It’s hard to express how much I enjoyed this book. This is all very, very well done. The characters are believable, the setting feels real, and the magic is convincing, with real limitations, rules, and costs. Highly recommended.”
–Lis Carey’s Library
family life, fantasy, historical fantasy, magic, teens, US frontier, witchcraft
“…we are all Death’s pupils, we practitioners—students of the great healer.” Ignorant of her heritage, a girl learns magic & wisdom on the frontier.
historical fiction, united states, family life, fantasy, magic, witchcraft, growing up & facts of life,