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Children of the Shaman by Jessica Rydill
Orbit Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1841490636
Date: 02 August 2001 List Price £7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

From release/information: Review: Jessica Rydill's first novel, Children of the Shaman, is set in what seems to be a post-Ice Age far future. There are distorted echoes of our own times in the names and geography and the religions are reminiscent of modern Judaism and Christianity. Teenagers Annat and Malchik have been reunited with their shaman father, Yuda, who left their mother when Annat was a baby. He takes them north by train to Gard Ademar where his friend the sheriff has asked him to investigate the mysterious deaths of several railway workers. Malchik falls under the spell of the evil Cold One and is drawn through a magic shaman gate. Yuda, Annat, the sheriff and his wife follow him into the magical realm of La Souterraine, where they travel through the wintry landscape in a steam train, following the single track available to them. Having found Malchik, they embark on a quest to confront the Cold One, a goddess whose followers attack the train and abduct the accident-prone Malchik. During the adventures that follow, Annat has to learn quickly how to use her shamanic powers to help her father fight off their enemies and to heal his wounds after their frequent battles. She is far more competent than her brother, and the story is partly about her journey into adulthood but Malchik has his own battles to fight. None of the heroes of this book are without flaws and they all come across as very human. While the plot lacks clarity in places, this is an imaginative first novel. --Elizabeth Sourbut

(Source: Orbit)

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