Adanta’s sick father has left their Smoky Mountain cottage to find a healing lake mentioned in the lore of the Cherokee. She and her mother, Charlotte, soon have a visitor: James, who Adanta secretly distrusts and calls "the Lean One." When James ensnares and bewitches Charlotte, and takes her from the cabin, Adanta has no choice: she must go into the wilderness, to Adantis, the secret home of the Hidden People deep in the mountains. She must summon up the courage to save her entire family . . . alone.
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Marly Youmans lives in Cooperstown, New York.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6-8-A complex fantasy that has its inspiration in the Cherokee culture of western North Carolina. When Adanta's sick father goes on a quest to find a healing lake, a visitor, the Lean One, comes to their home and lures her mother away, where she may have fallen prey to Raven Mockers, who steal a victim's heart and eat it. Alone, Adanta sets out to try to find her parents, journeying from her cottage to Adantis, a secret home of the Hidden People, who are a mixture of Irish, Scots, and Cherokee. The book follows Adanta through trials as she meets a variety of characters who have special powers of transformation from one form to another as well as people living in the depths of the Great Smoky Mountains where cultures blend and the lines of reality and fantasy blur. Among them is Pony Boy, who travels with Adanta some of the time; her grandmother; and families she meets in the hidden world of Adantis. There are a lot of good, exciting characters and events-people being stolen, men changed into other creatures-but the intricate plot has many side steps that can be difficult to keep straight, and it will take an excellent reader to keep them all sorted out. In the end, the story cannot quite stand up to the weight of all the characters and all that is going on in it.
Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
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