Three times a babe shall be born,
between star-crowned and iron-bound.
First, the sower of seeds, the soothsayer,
though lame, he must travel far.
Next shall be the king-breaker, the king-maker,
Though broken himself he shall be.
Last, the smallest and the greatest -
in him, the blood of wise and wild,
farseeing ones and starseeing ones.
Though he must be lost before he can find,
Though, before he sees, he must be blind,
If he can find and if he can see,
The true king of all he shall be.
Merry, Zed and Liliana - three children born between those of hearthkin blood and starkin blood - are on a perilous quest to the Palace of Zarissa. Amid the splendour and treachery of court, they watch and wait: planning the rescue of Princess Rosalina, held captive in the dazzling Tower of Stars.
And as their pasts and presents unfold, their destinies become clear.
The engrossing companion to The Starthorn Tree by one of Australia's best fantasy storytellers, Kate Forsyth.
Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books for children and adults, including The Puzzle Ring, The Gypsy Crown, The Starthorn Tree, and the popular fantasy series 'The Witches of Eileanan' and 'Rhiannon's Ride'. Offering an escape into worlds filled with adventure, wonder and magic, her books have sold nearly 1 million copies across twelve different countries. Since her first novel was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, she has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. In 2007, Kate became the first author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year when Books 2-6 in the Chain of Charms series were jointly awarded the 2007 Aurealis Award for Children's Fiction. Book 5: The Lightning Bolt was also named a Notable Book for 2007 by the Children's Book Council of Australia. Kate is one of Australia's most prolific and assured fantasy writers and her new book The Wildkin's Curse is published in May 2010.
The Wildkin's Curse
Author: Kate Forsyth
Why do you choose to write fantasy novels?
Kate Forsyth: I've always loved reading books that were full of mystery and adventure and magic, and so that's what I write. Not all of my books are fantasy - some are contemporary fiction and some are historical novels - but they all have some twist of the uncanny about them. Perhaps it's because I feel the universe is a mysterious and marvelous place with many secrets still left to be discovered, and I like to imagine what some of those secrets might be.
Did your great-great Aunt and Australia's first children's author inspire you and your sisters love of reading and writing?
Kate Forsyth: Charlotte Waring, who wrote the first children's book published in Australia, was my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother! Amazing, isn't it? I don't think she inspired me to either read or write - I think I managed that all on my own - but I certainly loved hearing all the family stories about her as a child. There are lots of writers in my family history - her daughter, Louise Atkinson, my great-great-great-great-aunt, was the first woman novelist to be born here in Australia, for example - but I wanted to be a writer because I loved reading and writing books and stories so much.
Although you write fantasy novels, how much inspiration for your books and characters comes from real life and real people?
Kate Forsyth: I think what a writer does is take everything they know and see and feel and experience and they turn it, by some mysterious alchemical process, into something else, like lead into gold. So all of my ideas and inspiration come from real life and real people - but I've transformed them beyond recognition into something (or someone) entirely different.
Which of the children in the book do you like the most? Which one is most like you?
Kate Forsyth: My favourite character is Merry, because he is a thinker and a dreamer, and because he has the kind of courage that comes from not being physically strong and able. I also love Liliana because she is determined and brave and truthful, qualities I admire and hope to have in myself. I love the fact that Rozalina is a storyteller and has the power to change people with words (this is what I try and do too!) and of course I like Zed as well, and I like the way he grow and changes over the course of the book. Which is most like me? Both Rozalina and Liliana, I think - they are like expressions of different sides of my own character.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Kate Forsyth: Have courage! You need to be brave, both in your writing and in your dreams for the future. If you're too afraid to open your heart to the world, you'll never be a writer. Otherwise, it's very simple - read, write and rewrite. Again and again and again.