Nancy Farmer


For Ruth Farmer


May the life force hold you

in the hollow of its hand



Jack: Age thirteen; an apprentice bard

Lucy: Jack’s sister; age seven

Mother: Alditha; Jack and Lucy’s mother; a wise woman

Father: Giles Crookleg; Jack and Lucy’s father

The Bard: A druid from Ireland; also known as Dragon Tongue

Pega: A slave girl; age fourteen

Brother Aiden: A monk from the Holy Isle

Father Sivein: The abbot of St. Filian’s Well

Brutus: A slave at St. Filian’s Well

Father Severus: A prisoner of the elves

Hazel: A child stolen by hobgoblins


Thorgil Olaf’s Daughter: An ex-berserker; age thirteen

Olaf One-Brow: A famous warrior and Thorgil’s adoptive father; deceased

Skakki: Olaf’s son; shipmate of Thorgil

Rune: A skald

Eric the Rash: Shipmate of Thorgil

Eric Pretty-Face: Shipmate of Thorgil

Heimlich the Heinous: Nephew of King Ivar the Boneless


Brude: Leader of the Old Ones


The Bugaboo: King of the hobgoblins

The Nemesis: The Bugaboo’s second-in-command

Mumsie: The Bugaboo’s mother

Mr. and Mrs. Blewit: Adoptive parents of Hazel


Partholis: Queen of Elfland

Partholon: Partholis’ consort

Ethne: An elf lady; daughter of Partholis and an unknown human

Gowrie: An elf lord

Nimue: The Lady of the Lake; a water elf


King Yffi: Ruler of Din Guardi and Bebba’s Town; half- kelpie

Man in the Moon: An old god; exiled to the moon

Forest Lord: An old god; ruler of the Green World

The Hedge: Aspect of the Forest Lord

Knuckers: They look like your worst nightmare.

Yarthkins: Also known as landv?ttir; spirits of the land. You really don’t want to meddle with them.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor, I went to blow the fire aflame, But something rustled on the floor, And some one called me by my name. It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun. —William Butler Yeats
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