For fans of The Book Thief and Raiders of the Lost Ark, this thrilling new novel set during World War I features a girl who must pretend to be a male soldier to save her younger brothers.
Adi is an outrider, rejected by both her British father’s and Indian mother’s cultures, so she is no stranger to trouble. But when a mysterious agitator called “Coal” kidnaps Adi’s twin brothers, Adi has to rely on herself to find them. With strength and cunning as fierce as any boy’s, she decides to cut her hair and put on a military uniform to slip unnoticed through the chaos of the early days of World War I. When Adi finds a pocket watch that could be the clue to her lost brothers, she must figure out a way to decode it—before time runs out.
"Historical fiction and magical realism meld in this haunting story set during World War I. A deep knowledge of World War I is not necessary to enjoy this story ... .It is Coal, with his disturbing habits, dramatic history, and cryptic motivations, who rises to amaze and shock throughout the book ... .This World War I story is ... a dark and memorable one."
– Kirkus Reviews
"This is a mythical quest novel ... .Adi, however, is a bold, courageous character ... .The descriptions of the war (WW1) are accurate and may provide an interesting background to students studying the topic ... .Mellon puts historical fiction in a new setting."
– VOYA Magazine
"A captivating read … perfect for fans of historical fiction … .The thrilling mystery, Adi's journey, and the beautiful illustrations … make David Mellon's novel a compelling read worthy of your time. Highly recommend!"
– The Reader and the Chef
“Engrossing combination of historical fiction and modern fairy tale … .Mellon has created an original plot, and the clever riddles showcase his impressive knowledge of history.”