In a world where music is the essence of magic, twelve-year-old Albert Coalcrop is pulled from his simple country life into the war against a dark master musician...(for ages 9+)
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Children's author Lee Pritchett's web site.
'The Composer': In a world where music is the essence of magic, twelve-year-old Albert Coalcrop is pulled from his simple country life into the war against a dark master musician. Albert‘s a very special boy, armed with a silver instrument. Silver instruments are a very rare breed. He is the composer and he must save the land of Arkvein from being transformed by the darkest song of them all...(for ages 9+)
Albert had finally reached his limit. From his trouser pocket he took out the only thing of value that he had ever owned, his grandfather’s silver fire whistle. The old man had made very little use of it himself and had- for some reason- preferred to whistle a tune on his lips alone. Albert hadn’t been able to bring himself to use it much either, since his grandfather’s death. It had been five long, hard years without the dear old man. He had loved his grandfather so much that without him life would never be quite the same. They had been the very best of friends, spending all their time together. They loved fishing in the valley river and going for picnics on the hillside. Albert knew nothing of his grandfather’s youth and he hadn’t even known his grandmother. She had died before he was born. The boy so wished that he’d known her too. If they lived past tonight then he’d have to pry a little more information free from his father and mother. Robert Coalcrop hadn’t been willing to talk much about his father since the old man’s death. He had been beyond upset at the funeral, even more upset than his young son had been. Emily had barely been one year old at the time. Albert could only imagine what it would have been like to lose his own father. Hopefully he would not have to find out. He had always kept the whistle close as a reminder of the dear old man he had loved so much. Albert had loved using it to make hot toast when he was little. As the boy put the whistle to his lips his mother saw what he was doing. She looked horrified, yet did not try to stop him. Mr. Coalcrop noticed too. The man opened his mouth to speak but then paused. He shivered as he slowly reached out his hand to Albert, like he was trying to reassure him. The Coalcrop family had been lucky so far, except for grandpa, bless his soul, none of them had ever had a direct encounter with the wraiths. If they had then it was doubtful that they would be alive today. Grandpa Coalcrop had been the wraiths’ first victim in the Northern Valley. There had been none of the demons before that very day. They had appeared as if by magic. Albert blew sharply on the little silver whistle, with all his might. The smouldering embers of the fire flared up into roaring life. It was truly winter now and the half starved family were near frozen. His little sister Emily wasn’t going to last the night without the heat of a fire. Although his parents were horrified at his actions, they didn’t disagree with them. Unbeknown to Albert, his father had been almost ready to say the word and let him light the fire. Another ten minutes and they would all have been in total agreement. After a few sore moments and exchanged glances, they now were.