The Wishing Tree
by Bevan Knight

"From the wrist down, his arm had turned into a branch, and his fingers were twigs. He tried to yell–in anguish, perhaps–but the sound did not extend past his throat."

Fourteen-year-old Dorno hoped to finally get a chance to throw the harpoon at the whale his tribe had been hunting for days. When the beluga suddenly breached the surface in front of his and his father’s small craft, all of the years of boyhood practice came into play as he leaned over the prow and heaved his weapon at the enormous creature before him. But rather than embedding itself in the whale’s flank, the harpoon skidded across the hide and lodged in the creature’s fluke instead. As the whale dove Dorno fell backward in the bucking boat, getting tangled up in the harpoon’s line in the process. Suddenly he was being pulled into the depths after the huge mammal. His father saved him that day but died soon after from his efforts. One pivotal moment affected Dorno’s life forever.

Such moments abound in Knight’s novel. An apprentice wizard makes a sudden decision to murder his master in a lust for power, setting in motion events that will affect countless lives for centuries. Two old magicians decide to raise an abandoned baby, never envisioning the role she will play in a future conflict. A young girl storms away from her foster mother and the shelter of a cave in a fit of anger, only to be sucked into the air and eventually rescued by the young man she will eventually share her life with. These twists of fate enrich a story that already has a lot going for it. Daring adventure, sharp betrayal, and soft romance combine in a well-written fantasy and science fiction tale where things are never exactly as they seem. As a former librarian, Knight understands the ingredients necessary for a good yarn. And in this first novel of his trilogy he adds them in just the right amount.

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