Mountainfell by Katharine Orton

What a gorgeous story is told within the pages of this book. Erskin and Birgit are typical sisters, argumentative, tempestuous and teasing. They live in the shadow of Mountainfell, a looming menacing mountain that the villagers have been told to fear. The Lords of the village have built a wall between the village and mountain and send “offerings” to the dragon living there for continued peace between the two. These offerings are more sacrificial as they are villagers themselves.

Recently, tremors are causing fear and worry amongst the village and one night the dragon appears and snatches Birgit from her home. Erskin does not hesitate but runs directly after her sister and up into the range of the mountain.

Sensing company, she discovers a village boy following her, Leif. They are now away from home in the unknown and uncertain of what they can do.

Words keep speaking to Erskin in her head and she comes to realise she can hear animals speaking, warnings, calls for help and she can also hear the voice of the witch threatening her and Leif. The witch and dragon are angered over the actions of the village, something neither Erskin or Leif are aware of but are now caught in the midst of. Discovering the truth of her village’s leaders, the actions taken against the mountain and the danger they all face are hard truths for the children to understand but …

“Mountainfell was dangerous and wild, but it was also wondrous, and special, and home to so much innocent life. She had to do what she could to protect it.”

Erskin and Leif form a special friendship based on their extraordinary experiences on the mountain but also because of their differences, trust in their talents and a whole hearted belief in their cause. They also recognise their lack of belonging in the village. “Don’t try to fit in…We can be different together.”

“Everything was different, and everything affected something else in an unbroken circle..And everything, no matter what it was, belonged.” The true heart of the story, Mountainfell, takes care of all who live within her boundaries and would do it so much better if humans took more time and care as well.

Utterly beguiling, full of adventurous journeys on dragon’s back, through Enchanted forests and into the tunnels beneath it all, these children are on the path of saving, not just their village but the entire mountain and its creatures.

Beautifully told and with descriptions of places we could only dream of, this story will enchant!

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