The Northlands are dying…
The trees are cut down to build ships and cities, the animals and people slaughtered.
The young witch, Shingebiss, pleads with the ancient shaman, her grandmother to save the land. But the shaman refuses because, 'All things must change. All things must die.'
After her Grandmother’s death, Shingebiss travels to the Imperial City, to ‘spell the Czar,’ and save the Northlands.
But the Czar is mad – his mind ‘like a broken mirror, reflecting many things and all crookedly.’
The only advice he heeds is that of the English wizard, Master Jenkins. He has promised to make the Czar a potion which will make him immortal. But Jenkins is a fraud.
When Shingebiss arrives at court, with her true magic, the Czar takes her for an angel, sent to him by God. With her dark colouring, she becomes 'The Czar's Black Angel.'
The English wizard is jealous. He tells the Czar that the Elixir of Immortality cannot be made without the blood of an angel.
The Czar fears death even more than he loves his angel.
Can Shingebiss survive the fear, jealousy and hatred at the Czar's court?
This is the third book and darkest book in the Ghost World Sequence, which begins with the Carnegie winning 'The Ghost Drum' and continues with 'Ghost Song.'
In Ghost Dance, Price transports us to the palace of a Czar whose avarice and
suspicion are destroying the beautiful Northlands... Here again, the complete seriousness and integrity of the writing makes for a quietly terrifying read. Highly recommended.
This third book of the sequence is still rich and deeply powerful. It’s full of the physical awfulness of human existence and human fears and the magic of storytelling which veers between the safe and the dangerous, the fascinating and the uncomfortable.
Books For Keeps