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A high-flying fantasy adventure that will blow readers away!
Every kite Oliver touches flies straight into the ground, making him the laughingstock of Windblowne. With the kite-flying festival only days away, Oliver tracks down his reclusive great-uncle Gilbert, a former champion. With Gilbert's help, Oliver can picture himself on the crest, launching into the winds to become one of the legendary fliers of Windblowne.
Then his great-uncle vanishes during a battle with mysterious attack kites—kites that seem to fly themselves! All that remains is his prize possession, a simple crimson kite. At least, the kite seems simple. When Oliver tries to fly it, the kite lifts him high above the trees. When he comes down, the town and all its people have disappeared. Suddenly the festival is the last thing on Oliver's mind as he is catapulted into a mystery that will change everything he understands about himself and his world.
Inspired by the work of Diana Wynne Jones, debut author Stephen Messer delivers a fantasy book for boys and girls in which the distance between realities is equal to the breadth of a kite string.
From the Hardcover edition.
of the Windblowne Watch waddling down the Way and lighting the oil lamps on either side. Like all members of the Watch, he was fat and friendly and long retired from a life of flying. Normally the Watch had little to do in peaceful Windblowne, but each midsummer they were forced to rise from their usual seats on the balcony of their tavern headquarters to manage the crowds of tourists who came for the Festival. Oliver put the kite behind his back and slowed to what he hoped was an inconspicuous
chuckled Lord Gilbert. “Don’t argue with me about things you couldn’t possibly understand.” “You didn’t know you were killing oaks on other worlds?” said Oliver. “Don’t you know the oaks are all connected? That they’re all the same oaks?” Lord Gilbert sighed heavily. “Don’t expect me to try to explain these concepts to you. But what you describe is impossible.” Oliver looked at him in disbelief. “You don’t even know how your own machine works, do you?” “Of course I do,” huffed Lord Gilbert.
marker had not been moved in almost fifty years. For this jumper, however, the extra practice was paying off. She looked as though she were ready to enter the first rank and threaten that mark. With a guilty start, Oliver realized that he had gotten so caught up in watching that flier that he had delayed longer than he intended. He checked his handvane. The pointer was dancing wildly. He knew he ought to come back in the morning. The other fliers were urgently reeling in their kites. There’s
up, savoring a last moment of sun and wind and sky.… And saw a little black dot that was rapidly getting larger. “UP!” demanded the captain. Oliver whirled and grabbed the captain’s shoulders. He pointed, shouting, “A hunter! I mean, a … a kite!” The captain chuckled mirthlessly. “Oh, we’re not falling for that. We’ve heard that one befo—” A shriek shattered the air as the hunter dove straight at Oliver. 15 Oliver leapt as the hunter struck him a glancing blow. He fell flat on his
of the hunters as they searched the mountain. At last there came another FLASH, and then several more, and then no more flashes and no more shrieks. He’d fooled them, but probably not for long. Oliver crawled from the leaves and ran for the riven oak. He had a plan but didn’t have much time before nightfall. When they reached the oak, Oliver collected as many twigs as he could, pulling them from the ends of hanging branches and stuffing them into his pack. He thought apologies toward the riven