Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it - 12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak's father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit's help to overcome it. Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human. Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.
Born in Malawi to a Belgian mother and a father who ran the tiny 'Nyasaland Times', Michelle Paver moved to the UK when she was three. She grew up in Wimbledon and, following a Biochemistry Degree from Oxford, she became a partner in a City law firm. Eventually, though, having submerged herself in myth and folklore (not at work) and having been chased by a bear (again, not at work), she gave up the lawyer life to follow her long-held dream of becoming a writer. Successfully published as an adult author, the CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS are her first - brilliant - books for children.