Tilja has grown up in the peaceful Valley, which is protected from the fearsome Empire by an enchanted forest. But the forest's power has begun to fade and the Valley is in danger. Tilja is the youngest of four brave souls who venture into the Empire together to find the mysterious magician who can save the Valley. And much to her amazement, Tilja gradually learns that only she, an ordinary girl with no magical powers, has the ability to protect her group and their quest from the Empire's sorcerers.
Peter Dickinson, the author of many books for adults and young readers, has won numerous awards. His books for Delacorte include Eva, A Bone from a Dry Sea, and AK (all ALA Notable or Best Books); The Lion Tamer’s Daughter; and Chuck and Danielle (a Junior Literary Guild selection).