by Hayden Thorne
Release date: April 2012
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, young adult

Baltasar grows up in a world of absolutes, of black and white, right and wrong. Just as his brothers and sisters who went before him, the boy is groomed to follow only one road, at the end of which is a life no different from his parents' and grandparents'. His parents’ strict teachings and the naïveté that results, however, render him ignored and friendless, and Baltasar spends much time alone.

During one of his solitary wanderings in the countryside, he stumbles across an enchanted land and its melancholy, ageless ruler - a land full of color and magic, and a bond that defies everything he’s always known about the world. But what’s unusual, tempting, and exciting doesn’t always lead to a clearer path, and Baltasar is forced to choose between two wildly diverging worlds, with each exacting a high price.

"Erl-King" is a retelling of Goethe’s ballad by the same title.

updated 2012-08-26

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