by Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald
Release date: 1996
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, young adult

Cover art by Cliff Nielsen.

In the First Year came the Plague, and in the Tenth Year the Burning, and afterward came the Grooglemen out of the Dead Lands...

So said all the preachers and the books, and Dan Henchard knew this was true.

But when the grooglemen took Leezie, the weller who was teaching Dan about caring for the sick, and then the strange hunter, Joshua, said he was going after her, Dan volunteered to go along.

He didn't know why. He was as scared as anyone was of the grooglemen.

But he went.

His life would never be the same.

Dan Henchard may be a weller – a healer – but he won't know for sure until he goes off with Leezie on a trip to a possible plague town. There he will either die of the plague or learn from Leezie all there is to know about healing.

But what he finds out in the plague town is that the hideous grooglemen have been there first. They have tampered with corpses, killed animals and, – worst of all – they have taken Leezie back to their foul castles in the Dead Lands. Only Dan and the mysterious hunter, Joshua, have a chance to rescue her, though it will probably mean their deaths as well.

Popular authors Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald have crafted a beautiful, suspense-filled, and creepy story of a boy whose adventure leads to a startling discovery about the world and his place in it.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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