The inhabitants of the village of Gyrford live mostly in harmony with their neighbours in the Forest, and that is in large part down to the fairy-smiths, Jedediah, his son Matthew and grandson Johnny, for only fairy-smiths can intercede with the People when a problem arises – like when one of the fae – who, in fairness, does looks a lot like a thornbush with a blackberry for a head – is dug up and transplanted by someone who didn’t know any better and is now determined to wreak vengeance on anyone it can.
That’s not the only problem, for there’s a skinflint landlord determined to sell the mill and kick out the family who’ve run it for untold generations. And a young boy who was clearly damaged by the People at birth is spending most of his time trying to get into the Forest, which is forbidden territory for all but a very few men.
There’s even a rumour that Black Hal has been seen running – fire strikes from the great hound’s heels, they said, and his eyes are the red of coals.
So one way or another, the Smiths have got a lot on their plate, and a lot of people depending on them . . .
Takes a traditional genre and changes it into something extraordinary
Kate Atkinson on Bareback
An impressive debut
TANANARIVE DUE, author of AFRICAN IMMORTALS, on BAREBACK
A powerfully intelligent novel
INDEPENDENT on IN GREAT WATERS
Resonates with real issues of power, responsibility and blame
LISA TUTTLE, THE TIMES on BAREBACK
Whitfield shows undoubted powers of imagination and talent