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Seamlessly blending fantasy with a hard-hitting tale of love and survival, Gillian Cross weaves the final tale in a startlingly original, spellbinding series.
Cross concludes this trilogy with a taut but labyrinthine story that blends elements of fantasy and mystery while tapping into the universal power of myth. Hope, known as Lorn in the undersize, underground parallel world introduced in The Dark Ground (Dutton, 2004), has been rescued from the dark hole beneath her family's conservatory by Robert, Tom, and Emma. She'd been sequestered there by her paranoid, domineering father since infancy-and her rescuers fear his reprisals-but it is Hope's pathologically timid mother and brother who actually take the initiative to terrorize the trio they consider her "kidnappers" in order to try and return her home. Summoning unprecedented courage and independence, they kidnap Emma, deposit her beneath the family conservatory, and threaten to keep her there until she discloses Hope's whereabouts. As this drama unfolds in alternating perspectives-both aboveground and in the tiny underworld-readers will find themselves artfully disoriented in terms of what is real and unreal and, more importantly, questioning exactly what is right and what is wrong. The key to understanding the trilogy ultimately lies in the revelations that Robert and Tom can extract from visits to Magee, the reticent and reclusive seer who first sent Robert underground. He has imparted in Tom the mixed blessing of telepathic empathy so strong that feeling others' fear causes him both psychological and physical pain. Cross has capped her trilogy with a heady and instructive tale in which self-induced fear trumps even the most horrendous forms of external human bondage.
—Jeffrey HastingsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.