The people of the Valley have been protected by powerful magic for twenty generations. No enemies from the Empire on its borders can penetrate the poisoned forests to the south or the deadly glaciers to the north. But the spell is weakening...Setting out to challenge the might of the evil Emperor and his powerful magicians are young Tilja, her three companions and an obstinate horse. They must seek a mythical figure from centuries ago - and on their long and perilous journey Tilja discovers her own strange power. It will enable her to enter the Empire's most guarded fortress, and discover the identity of the one they call the Ropemaker - a man who controls the rope of time itself...Peter Dickinson's first novel of high fantasy is a work of extraordinary inventiveness, rich and vast in its scope - creating a new and brilliant world for all readers who love the power of magic.
Peter Dickinson is one of the UK's most acclaimed children's writers. He has won the Carnegie Medal twice, for City of Gold and Tulku, the Whitbread Children's Award twice, for AK and Tulku, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for The Blue Hawk. He is the author of many books for children, teenagers and adults, including The Kin, his first book for Macmillan, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Award in 1999. He was one of the three shortlisted candidates for the first Children's Laureate, alongside Anne Fine and Quentin Blake, and was shortlisted for the International Hans Christian Anderson Award in 2000. He lives in Hampshire.