The people of the Valley have been protected by powerful magic for twenty generations. No enemies from the Empire on its borders can penetrate the poisoned forests to the south or the deadly glaciers to the north. But the spell is weakening...Setting out to challenge the might of the evil Emperor and his powerful magicians are young Tilja, her three companions and an obstinate horse. They must seek a mythical figure from centuries ago - and on their long and perilous journey Tilja discovers her own strange power. It will enable her to enter the Empire's most guarded fortress, and discover the identity of the one they call the Ropemaker - a man who controls the rope of time itself...Peter Dickinson's first novel of high fantasy is a work of extraordinary inventiveness, rich and vast in its scope - creating a new and brilliant world for all readers who love the power of magic.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Peter Dickinson was born in 1927 in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) the second son of British colonial civil servant and a South African farmer's daughter. The family returned to England in 1935, but his father died suddenly in the same year. He was educated at Eton College and was researching for a PhD in King's College, Cambridge,when in 1952 he was offered a offered a job on the editorial staff of Punch magazine, where he stayed until l969.
In 1968 he published his first two books, a crime novel, Skin Deep (aka The Glass-sided Ants' Nest) and a children's adventure story, The Weathermonger. Since then he has published about 50 books in both genres , and has been translated into many languages. He has won a number of prizes and awards (see Bibliographies for details.)
He has been chairman of the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded and OBE for services to literature in 2009.