By Peter Dickinson
Delacorte Press, 2007. 375 pgs. Young Adult
For 20 generations the Valley has been safe. The old stories speak of two people from the Valley who went in search of a powerful magician to help protect them from the marauders to the north and the evil empire to the south. But the magical protection he set in place is starting to break down, and Tilja and her family can sense that danger is approaching. She sets out with her grandmother and two others to find the magician Faheel, if he's even still alive, to ask him to renew the magic that keeps her Valley safe. Along the way Tilja is dismayed to find that she seems to be the only one in her family without any magical abilities, until she realizes that she doesn't just lack magic, she has the ability to render it powerless.
Despite a few technical problems that could have used some editing, this was an enjoyable coming-of-age story and a very imaginative fantasy. It reminded me a lot of the style of Lloyd Alexander, so I think fans of his books would enjoy this. There is a sequel called Angel Isle that picks up the story 200 years in the future.