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Whether it's a curse, or a blessing, or an ability, the fact remains that whenever Roger is injured or in enough pain he crosses over to the land of the dead. Once there, there are rules. Only the newly dead will talk, for example, and nothing will raise the longer dead from their tranquility. There are rules in the land of the living as well, rules which would have Roger hanged for witchcraft if he was ever caught. But refusing to cross over isn't an option. His uncle depends on Roger to hide under the table in their fairground act, listen to the recently bereaved asking questions of their dear departed, and then cross over to find the answers. It's a hard way of life, made all the harder as his uncle's fists usually provide the trigger for Roger to cross over. It's not the only way of life, though, and when Roger sees a chance to escape he fights for it -- little knowing that love, loss, shocking revelations and, ultimately, war lie ahead of him.
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ANNA KENDALL was born in Ireland and emigrated with her parents to the United States at age twelve. For several years she taught fourth grade. She lives in Seattle, where she plays a lot of chess. This is her first novel.From Booklist:
Fourteen-year-old Roger has a peculiar gift that allows him to cross from the land of the living into the world of the dead—but only at the point of extreme personal pain. He finds himself at court in the capital city, and he quickly becomes a tool in the deadly contest of wills between a young queen some say is not fit to rule and her mother, who refuses to relinquish the throne. Kendall’s debut novel is an atmospheric coming-of-age tale that weaves ill-fated courtly love with Roger’s difficult journey to understand the world. The involving story is weakened just a little by unnecessary and oddly placed references to sexual arousal and characters that exhibit little overall growth. There are tantalizing references to a mysterious place known as Soulvine Moor, which receives short shrift when readers are finally taken there toward the novel’s end. Despite this, Kendall’s first effort will find fans who will cheer Roger on and hope for his constancy. Grades 8-11. --Cindy Welch
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Book Description Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1441766499