Natalie Babbitt 1969
Meanwhile the queen's brother, Hemlock, has been out stirring up trouble and soon the kingdom is on the brink of a civil war all because of a word. Underneath it all is the story of a mermaid who has lost her doll and ancient dwarfs and a woldweller (keeper of the forest) high in the trees. They all intersect is an exciting, beautiful way.
It took a couple weeks of reading every night (and a couple times after lunch) but Charlotte loved it.
Galen sat in the moonlight beside the lake and thought about all that had happened since the day the pole began. Past his mind's eye streamed all the faces he had seen, all the kind, angry, laughing, anxious faces that had peopled the days of his great adventure. And he remembered, too, those others: the woldweller's gray cheeks fixed into furrows like the bark of a tree; the dwarfs, impassive and calm as the mountains themselves; the wind that spoke through a hundred wayward, invisible mouths; and Ardis with her eyes wet and unfathomable as the lake that glimmered before him. He leaned over and studied the dim reflection of his own face in the water. Young and skinny, he decided, and tired and worried, too. A transient, changeable, ageable face. A people face. "And that's where I belong," he said to himself at last.
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