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A powerful fantasy which draws the reader into the harsh medieval world of the 'Kingdom' for a fourth and final time. Elske escapes brutal death at the hands of the wolf people who have brought her up and makes her way out into a new life, with nothing but her character. When she is made handmaiden to Beriel, an exiled princess whose right to be queen has been usurped by her brother, we have two strong women fighting together for justice. The contrast between them provides shades of meaning for the exploration of right and wrong, of wilful and necessary violence, of the just balance between all people and especially between the sexes. The physicality and detail feed the imagination and Elske's character in particular feeds our thoughts and feelings. She is wonderfully strong, finding her way, finding herself partly in resistance to those she rejects, and partly through a strong sense of human value, honesty and rightness. It is a marvellous piece of storytelling in which our understandings grow alongside those of Elske.