From School Library Journal
Grade 6–8—In this medieval fantasy, Wolf runs away from a monastery after years of mistreatment by his master, Brother Thomas. As he's fleeing across Welsh moors inhabited by ghosts and demons, he comes across a girl elfchild being chased by a pack of hunters' dogs. Wolf captures her and offers her to Lord Hugo, the head hunter. Lord Hugo is obsessed with the idea that his dead wife is actually alive and being held by the Demon Lord of the Underground, and he is convinced that the elfchild can lead him to her. He allows Wolf to accompany him home on the condition that Wolf make the mute elfchild speak. Nest, Lord Hugo's daughter, is soon to marry a man she's rarely seen but been betrothed to since she was five. To Wolf's horror, her fiancé arrives with Brother Thomas, who is furious to see him. In revenge, Wolf and Halewyn, a visiting jester, make a fool of the man, but Nest doesn't trust Halewyn. She suspects he's a demon in disguise, determined to lure her father underground in search of his dead wife. Can she and Wolf save Lord Hugo and the elfchild? This atmospheric story, set in a land inhabited by terrifying and benign magical creatures, combines fast-paced action with sensitive insights into the characters' inner fears and desires. Supernatural fantasy fans will enjoy this tale that effectively explores magic, mystery, and the struggle between good and evil.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
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*Starred Review* Thirteen-year-old Wolf is running away from the abbey where he was raised when he unexpectedly meets renowned knight Sir Hugo. Together, they capture a mysterious elf-child and return to Hugo's castle, where Wolf will be allowed to stay—if he gets the elf-child to speak. There, Wolf meets Nest, Hugo's 13-year-old daughter, who is dreading her arranged marriage and has her own reasons for helping the outcast elf-child. As Wolf and Nest grow more attached to the elfin youngster, whom they name Elfgift, Hugo's motivations for prompting Elfgift's speech become increasingly clear and unsettling. The arrival of a strange traveling jester to the castle ultimately leads to consequences for all in a darkly dramatic, intense denouement above and below the shadowy, mystical moors of Devil's Edge. In this medieval fantasy, Langrish, author of the Troll Trilogy books, provides a vividly rendered, engrossing tale. Epic themes—good and evil, faith and doubt, sin and redemption—are made personal and poignant through the losses and longings of the notably well-drawn, dimensional main characters, who seek meaning in a chaotic world where all is not what it seems. The diverse supporting characters, both human and supernatural, as well as the richly descriptive prose and imagined settings further enhance this sometimes provocative, beautifully wrought British import that illustrates the power of compassion and storytelling, for characters and readers alike. Grades 6-9. --Shelle Rosenfeld