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The Ropemaker

by Peter Dickinson

Published by U.S. edition: Delacorte Press, 2001
384 pages
ISBN: 0-385-72921-9

Ages 12 - 16

For 20 generations, two families have maintained the power that keeps the Valley safe from marauding intruders. When that protective magic begins to fail, something must be done to restore it, or the Empire's soldiers will overrun the people of the Valley. Tilja, her grandmother, Tahl, and his grandfather set out to search the Empire for the man who originally gave their two families the ability to protect their homeland. The group's likelihood of finding him seems slight, but it's the only hope they have. Tilja feels especially ill-equipped to face the task, as she has recently discovered that -- unlike her grandmother, mother, and sister -- she lacks the ability to perform the family magic. That lack, however, proves to be Tilja's own unique power when the group's journey into the Empire becomes treacherous. Tilja's search for her own identity is a consistent underlying theme of this challenging quest. Skillfully crafted, The Ropemaker is an exceptional addition to the fantasy genre for teenagers. CCBC categories: Fiction for Young Adults.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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