||The author of the LOST YEARS OF MERLIN series begins another epic fantasy of the King Arthur era. The great tree of Avalon "stands as a bridge between Earth and heaven, mortal and immortal" and sprouted from "a seed won by Merlin on his journey through a magical mirror." The tree's seven roots comprise seven worlds with different populations and appearances: Shadowroot, Fireroot, Woodroot, Stoneroot, Airroot, Waterroot, and Mudroot. The story focuses on Tamwyn ("Dark Flame"), who believes that he's the prophesied Dark Child, born in the year of darkness, who will eventually destroy his own adored Avalon, and he desperately wants to escape this fate. He's accompanied by Scree, an "eagleboy" kidnapped as a child and raised with Tamwyn, and Elli, a priestess's apprentice intently seeking Merlin's heir in order to prevent the foretold cataclysm. A fantastical cast of fairies, sprites, and shape-shifters appear in this witty and violent flight of imagination.
||As the peaceful world of Avalon is threatened with a series of mysterious droughts and the very stars begin to lose their light, Tamwyn, a wandering wilderness guide; Elli, an apprentice priestess; and Scree, a young eagleman, hold the fate of Avalon in their hands--but one of them is the child of the Dark Prophecy, destined to destroy it.