Selah, a slavegirl from the hot valley, escapes The Craft and journeys to the Summit where she finds freedom, the beauty of nature, and love.
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Selah is a slave of the hot desert valley. Her Master is Regan, who uses The Craft to maintain his power. Selah is used to beatings, loneliness, and hard work. Every day she goes to the well to fetch water. She sees, above the pale valley haze, the distant, snow-covered mountains. She wishes she could find them and the freedom they promise.
Then Micah, a Prince of the Mountains and servant of The Maker, leads Selah and a Band of travelers to the Summit. Regan and his soldiers pursue the Band as they cross moors, highlands, and plateaus. Selah discovers rain, trees, lakes, and love as she journeys higher. She also learns the beauty of mountain peaks and the power of a servant’s heart over a dictator.
Wanting to help the other slaves, Selah decides to leave The Summit and bring starlight down to the dark valleys. For adults, teens, and children.
She followed the flute’s voice, walking as unnoticed as possible among the laughing, chattering travelers. In the middle of the group she stopped. Micah sat cross-legged on a red blanket beneath a purple canopy. He looked beautiful in his green cloak embroidered with silver. He held a silver flute in both hands, his fingers moving gracefully on and off the holes along its side. In his lap lay a scroll unrolled as if he had been reading it. Selah stared at him until he waved at her.
She stepped gingerly over feet and yellow pillows and pitchers of water. All eyes turned again toward her and Micah, and she suddenly realized that he was the leader of the group.
She stopped near his feet and stared down at him as if seeing him for the first time.
“Who are you?” she asked, shaking so that the hood fell once more from her head.
“I am a Prince of the Mountains,” he replied. “Come to lead you home.”
“The Maker sent you,” Selah realized.
“Yes. He made me a Prince and has shown me the High Places. I must show you, little Selah--you, and all these others.”
She stood, still trembling. Beside Micah was a waterpot. She bent to lift it up, ready to serve him and the rest of the band.
“You do not need to serve us, Selah,” he said, motioning for her to sit down next to him.
Selah set the water pot back down, and her cloak fell off one shoulder, revealing her bronze armband that glinted coldly in the torchlight.
“But I am a s-slave and not worthy to sit beside a P-Prince,” she stuttered. “Surely I must w-work to earn my keep.”
Micah put the flute and scroll into his mysterious green bag.
“I was not always a Prince,” he said. “To become a Prince, one must first be a servant. You have worked all your life, Selah. Now you will learn the value of what is not earned--the value of a gift.”
He stood, towering above Selah. He lifted his arms high, toward stars that shone bright above the oasis and the rocky foothills along its eastern banks. He spoke words Selah did not understand--he seemed to be asking for something. Then he bent down and touched her armlet with both hands. It fell off her arm, cracked from side to side.
“You are no longer a slave,” he said. Selah could hardly bear to look into his fierce, glowing eyes.
“Who are you?” she asked again, afraid, wanting to turn and hide in the darkness.
He did not answer her this time. She stared at his eyes that had turned from blue to white--then back to blue. His whole body seemed to glow with an invisible light that spread through his fingertips, up her arm, and to her own eyes. She stared at her bare arm where a circle of pale skin contrasted with the sunburned skin. She glanced at all the strange eyes watching her, then sat down beside Micah on the red carpet, buried her head in her hands, and cried.
Micah put his arm around her. Exhausted, she leaned against his shoulder, closed her eyes, and slept until morning.