In the magical forests of Serre lives a witch named Brume, the Mother of All Witches, an ugly, dangerous hag that everyone -- and every living thing -- avoids at all costs. Infamous for her knobby, callused feet that broaden to inhuman size when she picks up her house of bones and carries it, she is said to stew and devour anyone who enters the skeletal cottage.
When Prince Ronan, grief-stricken over the recent death of his wife and newborn child, accidentally tramples one of Brume's white hens with his horse, she lays a curse on him. Ronan will wander aimlessly through the forests for eternity until he captures a firebird, a breathtakingly beautiful creature indigenous to Serre, and returns it to Brume in a golden cage. But Ronan must find his way home as soon as possible. Sidonie, the youngest daughter of the King of Dacia, is betrothed to Ronan and awaiting his return. If Ronan doesn't come back, the innocent girl will be trapped in his evil warlord father's fortress forever. Even though he doesn't want to marry the princess, he feels compelled to save her….
Patricia A. McKillip just keeps getting better with every book. She has become an absolute master of the fairy tale. Like Ombria in Shadow, her previous release, In the Forests of Serre is a surreal mixture of fantasy, fable, and romance. And the truly wonderful thing about these novels is that their appeal is ageless; the stories can be enjoyed by adults and make great read-alouds for children as well. Paul Goat Allen