A new edition of Leslie Gadallah’s classic science fiction novel originally published by Del Rey Books as The Loremasters.
“Occasionally, a book can surprise you, and every so often an old book can become new . . . as I began to read, the author’s grasp of language, and ability to spin a tale like the story weavers of old, drew me into this page-turner with its delicious descriptions . . . magical literary language lurks throughout.” – Wendy Hawkin, Ottawa Review of Books
At fourteen, Sarah is an accomplished pickpocket who knows all the back streets and boltholes of the town of Monn. She steers clear of Brother Parker and his Church of True Faith, knows better than to enter the Inn of The Honest Keeper, and avoids the attentions of Butch, the Miller’s son, as best she can.
The one bright spot in Sarah’s day is listening to the storyteller’s tales of the magically easy lives of the Old People—and if, as darkness falls, one of the wealthier listeners happens to be so intent on the storyteller’s voice that he becomes careless of his own purse, well, so much the better. Inspired by the storyteller’s narratives, Sarah often imagines her own life as the stuff of legend for some future troubadour.
But even such daydreams can’t prepare her for becoming embroiled with a witchy Phile—an agent of the devil, come in search of the Old People’s hidden secrets. How could Sarah have known that picking the wrong pocket would strand her in the middle of a power struggle among Brother Parker, the Governor, and the encroaching Phile spies?