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Snow Wings

By Jutta Goetze

"There's something wrong with the sun!" Manfred had a tendency to talk extremely speedily when he was nervous or upset, or excited. As he was all three things at once, it was a wonder his friend Dieter could understand anything at all. Manfred was standing in a telephone booth in the town square, holding the phone at some distance from his mouth, as his other tendency when nervous, upset and excited, was to shout. The sun was red, though it wasn't evening yet. Behind the peak of the highest mountain, like a vulture on its shoulders, was the shadow of something dense and dark. Only a shadow, waiting to form...

On a seemingly ordinary day close to Christmas, in a small town called Wintersheim, things start to go wrong. The deer no longer come out of the forest to feed. The birds don't sing. All the animals disappear. A cloud blocks the sun as a shadow rolls towards Earth.

High up on the slope of the highest mountain an egg-shell capsule falls out of the sky. A small being is flung onto the snow. It carries a letter of light that asks for help. The being, before it dies, makes contact with a little boy.

That night a planet shrouded by clouds, hooks onto the tip of the highest mountain and black snow starts to fall. Shadows stir. Strange shapes with yellow eyes creep into the streets, hugging the walls, seeping down from the strange world the black cloud hides.

No one notices, except Manfred. He sets off on a Quest for returning a powerful key to the beleaguered king of the Light Beings, a little people who have been captured by the Shadows. Manfred has the help of Dieter, the mountain boy who hates the mountains. And there is Georg, the baker's son, Anne, Manfred's bossy Australian cousin and her pink cockatoo. There's Ziggi, rich and spoilt, whom nobody wants along; as well as I Don't Know, a little kid who doesn't know who he is, or where he's been. And there is Orff the dog, Epsilon the cat and Manfred's smart-alec technical help, the Calculator. This group clashes about anything and everything. But each of them, with all their quirks and faults (there are plenty of the latter!) contribute to the Quest.

They are catapulted onto the Light Star, where they learn how to survive in the white weather. In a short week they learn to care for an environment that is being threatened by the Shadows. More importantly, they learn how to operate as a team. And they soon discover that things happen on the Light Star, that never happen on Earth. Magic lives here.

Snow Lizards grow huge. And a Snowman, 50 metres high and as ill tempered as the six. Anne discovers an old sleigh that rises into the air. Dieter builds a pair of skis that can fly - the Snow Wings.

With he help of The Weatherman, a wise old man, they discover the power of the key, an ancient source of light captured and held in crystal. And while learning how to ski, they learn to trust and to depend on one another, and overcome their fears.

In a final race against the Shadows, once the ice mountain has been conquered, and the stolen animals freed; in that last meeting with a formidable army, the children see how far they have come, and how much they have learned. Together they save two worlds.

Set in a magical land, Snow Wings is a thrilling adventure fantasy that will make your imagination soar. It is a story filled with suspense and danger, and a lot of laughter, fun and squabbling - and flying over snow.