Young Saaski doesn’t fit in among the simple peasants of Torskaal, where she lives with her parents Yanno and Anwara. She looks different, she’s made ill by iron and rowan wood, and she’s fascinated with the wild moor, which terrifies the average villager. Even her goatherd friend Tam admits she’s different. But Saaski is about to discover that she was born and raised in the Mound, the legendary dwelling of the Hillfolk. Her mother was Folk, but her father was a human, tricked by her mother into entering the Mound and coming out again fifty-five years older. She is a changeling, rejected by the Folk, rejected by the people of her village, except for her fiercely loyal foster parents. When Saaski determines to find her adoptive parents’ real daughter and return her to them, she concocts a daring plan to fulfill that desire.
This children’s book about a young girl caught between two lives is cute and innocent. The writing is colloquial and lighthearted, which works well with the story. The dialogue in particular is well-crafted. The setting, a peasant village, vaguely British in its image of the Folk, which could be placed anytime from the medieval era on through the eighteenth century, is colorful and lively. Morally, the book isn’t striking in either direction. There’s certainly nothing objectionable about it. (Saaski’s rebellious streak can be seen as characterization of her nature, and the book doesn’t seem to be condoning disrespect to parents.)