In Keara’s world, every child has a darkbeast — a creature that takes dark deeds and emotions like anger, pride, and rebellion. Keara’s darkbeast is Caw, a raven. Caw is her constant companion, and they are magically bound to each other until Keara’s 12th birthday. For on that day Keara must kill her darkbeast — that is the law. Refusing to kill a darkbeast is an offense to the gods, and such heresy is harshly punished by the feared Inquisitors.
Though Keara struggles to follow the rules, she cannot imagine life without Caw. And she finds herself drawn to the Travelers, actors who tour the country performing revels. Keara is fascinated by the Travelers’ mysterious plays, with their hints of a grand life beyond her tiny village. As her birthday approaches, Keara readies herself to leave childhood — and Caw — behind forever. But when the time comes for the sacrifice, will she be able to kill the creature that is so close to her? And if she cannot, where will she turn, how can she hide from the Inquisitors?
A single decision could ripple outward and change Keara’s life — and perhaps her world — forever in this gripping story that comes straight from the heart.
Morgan Keyes grew up in California, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota, accompanied by
parents, a brother, a dog, and a cat. Also, there were books. Lots and lots of books.
Morgan started to keep a journal for a second-grade English class and never really
stopped. Journal entries turned into short stories, and short stories turned into novels. In between, there were an awful lot of haikus and cinquains.
Morgan now lives near Washington, D.C. In between trips to the Natural History
Museum and the National Gallery of Art, she reads, travels, reads, writes, reads, cooks, reads, wrestles with cats, and reads. Because there are still books. Lots and lots of books.