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About Peter Kujawinski
Peter Kujawinski writes nonfiction and fiction for all ages. He contributes regularly to the New York Times and the New Yorker online. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of Nightfall, with Jake Halpern. Their critically acclaimed follow-up novel, Edgeland, was released in May 2017.
Before turning to writing full-time, Peter was an American diplomat for 18 years. He worked in Israel, twice in Haiti, in France, and at the UN Security Council in New York. He lived in Canada for his last diplomatic assignment as U.S. Consul General to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, as well as Sciences Po and Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in France. He now lives in Chicago with his family. For more information, please go to www.peterkujawinski.com
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On Marin's island, sunrise doesn't come every twenty-four hours - it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold. The shadows are growing long. The dark is rising. And soon it will be Night.
The eerie Evening sunset is causing the tide to begin its slow roll out hundreds of miles, and so Marin, along with her twin brother Kana and the rest of the islanders, must frantically begin preparations to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.
But first the house must be made ready for their departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged just so. Tables must be set as if for dinner. The rituals are bizarre - unnerving, even - but none of the adults will discuss why things must be this way. And then just as the ships are about to sail, the twins' friend Line goes missing. Marin and Kana know where he has gone, and that the only way to rescue him is to do it themselves. And surely the ships will wait?
Because Night is falling. Their island is changing. And something is stirring in the dark.
Thousands of miles due south from the Polar North is is the island of Edgeland. Here, day and night last for 72 hours. And here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.
Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, watching people bring their dead to the island's famous bone houses to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.
With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat - with Alec and Wren onboard - is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover over the abyss is beyond what either of them could have imagined.
Ever since returning from Dormia, Alfonso has enjoyed sleeping in a bed like a
normal person. No more waking up at the top of a tree or the edge of a cliff. In fact,
no sleepwalking at all. But then, while visiting France on a class trip, Alfonso feels that strange and
familiar pull of sleep. Upon waking, he finds himself in the belly of a ship headed
to Egypt. In his backpack are a few old books and a vial of medicine he stole while
asleep. Something is calling Alfonso back to Dormia. Perhaps it’s the Founding Tree? Or
perhaps it's the man he sees in his dreams—the one who looks just like his deceased
father? Whatever it is, Alfonso is powerless to resist.
Storytellers Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski take Alfonso on another fantastical
quest to Dormia—and beyond—to a vast underground world that holds the answer
to a terrifying message: Let me tell you of a dark shadow tree and the world's end.
Alfonso Perplexon is an unusual sleeper. He climbs trees, raises falcons, even shoots deadly accurate arrows, all in his sleep. No one can figure out why.
Then one evening a man arrives at Alfonso’s door, claiming to be Alfonso’s long-lost uncle Hill. This uncle tells a fantastical tale: Alfonso’s ancestors hail from Dormia—an ancient kingdom of gifted sleepers—which is hidden in the snowy peaks of the Ural Mountains. According to Hill, Dormia exists thanks to a tree known as the Founding Tree, with roots that pump life into the frozen valley. But the Founding Tree is now dying, and in a matter of days, Dormia faces an icy apocalypse.
Dormia’s salvation lies with the Great Sleeper, who possesses the special powers to enter a sleep trance and grow a new Founding Tree. Hill suspects that Alfonso is just such a person. In fact, Alfonso’s sleeping-self has already hatched this tree. Now the question is: Can Alfonso and his uncle deliver it in time? They must hurry, but they also must be careful not to be followed by Dormia’s age-old enemy, the Dragoonya, who are always hunting for one of the secret entryways into Dormia.
Alfonso agrees to take the tree to Dormia, and thus begins one of the greatest adventures a twelve-year-old boy could ever wish for.
As he woke up from a late afternoon nap, Alfonso blinked open his eyes and discovered that he was perched at the top of a gigantic pine tree – some two-hundred feet above the ground. The view was spectacular. Alfonso could see for miles in every direction and he could even make out his house in the distant hamlet of World’s End, Minnesota. Unfortunately, there was no time to enjoy the view. The small branch that Alfonso stood upon was covered with gleaming snow and creaked dangerously under the pressure of his weight. Icy gusts of wind shook the entire treetop. Alfonso looked down grimly at the ground far below. If he fell, he would most certainly die.
“Oh brother,” muttered Alfonso to himself. “Not again.”