From Dakin’s bedroom window, the farthest-away mountain looks quite close, its peak capped with pink and purple and green snow rising above the pine wood just beyond the village.
No one knows why the snow isn’t white, because no one has ever been there; for though the mountain looks close, however far you travel it never gets any closer.
Until one morning, Dakin is woken by a voice calling, summoning her through the wicked wood and over the sea of spikes, to fight the evil on the mountain and set it free…
Age when first read – 8
Importance – I remember my Mum dragging me along to an event at our local library, Lynn Reid Banks was holding a session there and getting to meet the author of this wonderful book was beyond awe inspiring for me. I even got her to sign this book for me and I remember thinking that she didn’t really look like an author at all. After my complete enjoyment of Harry Potter my parents were keen to introduce me to other books (to keep me interested) and who couldn’t be interested with a girl who wants to visit the farthest-away mountain, meet a gargoyle and marry a prince?
What was learnt – This book taught me that girls could just as much be the hero of a story as boys. Dakin was brave, compassionate and self-sufficient in a way that I hadn’t read before. Dakin had all the attributes that make a great heroine but she wasn’t perfect and she grew through her journey in a positive way. She overcame moments of fear, moments of excitement, moments of bravery and still managed to embark on a journey that would change her life.
Reading as an adult – I still enjoy reading this as an adult, its is a book that is both magical and adventurous and though it has some frightening parts, it is safe for all age groups. It is a terrific story that can appeal to all age groups and has a mystery that allows you to guess. It doesn’t lay it all out for you and allows you to make your own mind up about whose good or bad, whose trustworthy or not etc.
Overall rating – 7/10