An extraordinary debut weaving magic and heroism into a classic tale of good and evil, featuring a heroine you'll never forget.
Inquisitive twelve-year-old Alexa Daley is spending another summer in the walled town of Bridewell. This year, she is set on solving the mystery of what lies beyond the walls. Legend says the walls were built to keep out an unnamed evil that lurks in the forests and The Dark Hills. But what exactly is it that the townspeople are so afraid of?
As Alexa begins to unravel the truth, pushing beyond the protective barrier she's lived behind all her life, she discovers a strange and ancient enchantment -- and exposes a danger that could destroy everything she holds dear.
Elyon is a land of dark hills, enchanted forests, and great walls that connect and encircle the cities of Lathbury, Turlock, Lunenburg, and Bridewell like spokes in a wagon wheel. On her annual summer trips to Bridewell with her father, the mayor of Lathbury, Alexa Daley spends much of her time dreaming of escape. Having lived within the walls all of her 12 years, she wants nothing more than to explore the uncharted wilderness beyond. But, the walls are heavily guarded, and frightening legends suggest that forests and hills are no place for a child--especially a young girl. When a mysterious conversation and an unfortunate accident put Alexa within reach of a way outside the wall, she must decide--heed the warnings of her elders, or satisfy her curiosity and unravel the mysteries of Elyon.
Told from the perspective of its smart, brave, and adventurous heroine, The Dark Hills Divide invites readers on a spectacular and mysterious quest that will appeal to boys, girls, and fans of both fiction and fantasy. Patrick Carman is a natural storyteller, and his delightful debut is full of mysterious plots, hidden passageways, and all manner of dastardly, hilarious, and noble characters. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and Cornelia Funke, The Dark Hills Divide is so compulsively readable that kids (and their parents) will be clamoring for the second book in the proposed trilogy, Beyond the Valley of Thorns, due in 2005. --Daphne Durham
Amazon.com Exclusive Content
Welcome to the Land of Elyon: Meet the Characters
The daughter of the mayor of Lathbury, Alexa is a curious, strong-willed, courageous twelve-year-old who acquires a stone of great power, and investigates and uncovers a terrible secret.
The mysterious little man (not more than 2 feet tall) of the old mountain who befriends Alexa Daley on her journey outside the wall. Yipes introduces her to Darius, setting her on an amazing adventure.
An enormous wolf with a mysterious past, Darius is tasked with escorting Alexa to a meeting in the forest, and taking her to the dark tunnel where a secret is revealed.
Pervis, the crafty head of the guards in Bridewell, protects the city from the evil dangers he is convinced lurk outside the walls. He is a man with many secrets, great ambition, and a strong dislike for Alexa.
Sam and Pepper
Sam and Pepper live in the library, and curl up with Alexa while she reads and naps in her favorite chair. Alexa soon learns that these cuddly cats are not what they seem--they hide secrets of their own.
The architect and founder of the walled cities, Warvold was an adventerous wanderer who traveled far and wide in the Land of Elyon.