A gutsy girl unlocks a magical universe—and the danger that lies within—in this “sprightly” and “exciting” middle grade fantasy adventure (Publishers Weekly).
Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard longs for adventure, some escape from her humdrum life. That is precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door—in a tree.
Holly crosses the threshold into a stunning and magical medieval world, Anglielle. And as she does so, something unlocks within Holly: a primal, powerful magic. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own.
When Ben and Everett are sentenced to death by the royals, whose fear of magic has fueled a violent, systemic slaughter of all enchanted creatures, Holly must save them and find a way back home. But will she be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero?
"In her debut novel, Caterer quickly builds a fantasy that involves time travel and switching identities as Holly, Ben, and their new friend Everett enter a tree, using Holly’s key, and find themselves identified as enemy agents by a fantasy analog of thirteenth-century England. Magic creatures, realistic human emotions, and the children’s very different personalities are well knit into a rich drama that lasts the full summer."
"Caterer is especially good at creating believable children in all of their human imperfections. The book’s pace is sprightly, and Holly’s adventures are exciting without being too scary."