In that country the snow falls deep and lies long, lies and freezes until bears can walk on its thick crust of ice. The ice glitters on the snow like white stars in a white sky!... the winter is one long night, and all that long night long the sky-stars glisten in their darkness, and the snow-stars glitter in their whiteness, and between the two there hangs a shivering curtain of cold twilight.’
THE GHOST DRUM won the Carnegie Medal in 1987, but has long been out of print and unavailable to its many fans. Now a new, revised edition is available as a kindle e-book.
The first of four books set in the Ghost World, it tells of a dark, frozen Czardom, of witches, ghosts and shape-changers. The baby girl born to a slave-woman is carried away by ‘a night-visiting witch’ and raised as a shaman, one who can ‘follow the dead to their world.’ The son born to the terrifying Czar Guidon is imprisoned for life at the top of the palace’s tallest tower.
In the frozen wilderness the slave-baby, now full-grown and ‘a Woman of Power’ hears the despairing cries of the Czarevich’s spirit from his prison. She determines to save him, but to do so she must battle Imperial power with the power of her Ghost Drum.
Recommended to all lovers of folklore and fantasy. A Carnegie Medal winner.
Reviews of The Ghost Drum:
From The Kirkus Review 15th May 1987
Elements of myth, Slavic folklore and original fantasy are skilfully mixed with poetic imagery to create a truly stunning and original work of the imagination… Price [is] a hypnotic storyteller who laces her work with delicate cynicism. She uses vivid imagery, as well as effects occasionally uncompromising in their brutality…her story flows, told by a master. A find for lovers of folklore and fantasy.
From The Times Literary Supplement March 6th 1987
The Ghost Drum is a richly emotional and lavishly written tale of love and learning and the tyranny that seeks their deaths… Price frees the story from the conventions of fairy-tale romance and gives it an unusual intensity… This is adult fiction for eleven or twelve year olds.