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  The Sorcerer's Daughter      



(Lion: 9780745960722)

Fantasy adventure. Free-standing sequel to The Sorcerer's Trap.

"Terrific! Topical and relevant. Fay Sampson explores modern themes in a fantastic adventure story which will suit young and mid-teens." Gateway Monthly Recommended Read.

 " She has the gift of making you live through every scene. I don't know how she does it, but I hope she goes on doing it for a very long time to come." Diana Wynne Jones.


  Read an extract: 



Something flickered on the edge of her vision. She scrambled to her feet in panic. Was it a snake, a scorpion? She knew nothing of what might live out here in the desert, but where there was water and vegetation, there could surely be animal life. Her eyes searched the barred shadows and found the cause.

    A small brown bird. A sparrow.

    The shock drove the blood back to her heart. Then she laughed breathlessly. The sparrow was the commonest bird in Yadu and, presumambly, Xerappo. Why should it be not be here, when it could be found everywhere else? There was no gold ribbon, no yellow letter on its leg. Nothing to connect it with that little messenger who had turned her life upside down and made her a fugitive in the desert, on the run for her life.

    She watched the sparrow hop almost to her feet. Were there still breadcrumbs from their breakfast? It put its head on one side and regarded her with its bright brown eyes. She held out a hand to it cautiously. But the bird did not fly up to it, as its boldness made her half suspect it would.

    Instead, it fluttered away a short distance, to the foot of the next tree. It turned its head to look back at her. Only half understanding, she took a tentative step after it. The sparrow flew on, and settled again. Again, Sarba followed it.

    Little by little it coaxed her across the oasis. With alarm, Sarba could see now where it was heading. She was now halfway between the two sorcerers, dim red shapes on the ground, only just within earshot, and, ahead, the stranger with his sandy camel. He seemed to be still asleep, wrapped in his brown robe, his head shrouded in a yellow scarf.

    She stopped, scared. She ought not to go any further, even with the knife in her hand. They knew nothing about this Barak. None of them trusted him. She had a sudden horrible thought that she could take the initiative, kill him as he slept, remove the danger.

    She knew at once she could not do that. But she could turn back, to Tekran and Jentiz and safety.

    The sparrow fluttered on. Little by little it was getting nearer to the Xerappan. Its bright eyes told her it meant her to follow. Even as she scolded herself for her folly, she did.

    The sparrow stopped by the last palm tree before the sleeping figure. Sarba crept to join it. The trunk was thicker than many others. She presssed herself close behind it. The sparrow hopped a few steps closer. Sarba peered round the trunk to watch.

    The man lay, his mouth half open, his breath loud enough to hear. The yellow scarf had fallen away from his face. Sarba stared in horror.

    It was not the same man.

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  Why I wrote . . .                                

  The Sorcerer's Daughter


The Sorcerer's Trap was a Romeo and Juliet story - love across the barrier between two people. It was told from the point of view of Novan, a boy from the conquered Xerappan people.

    In The Sorcerer's Daughter I wanted to see things from the point of view of the Yadu - the conquerors. Why do they hate and fear the Xerappans so?

    Sarba is the daughter of the High Sorcerer who rules the Yadu - and the defeated Xerappans. Her mother was terribly damaged in a Xerappan terrorist attack, in which Sarba herself could easily have been killed. She has reason to hate them.

    But I wanted to show that conflicts like this are never a simple matter of 'Us' and 'Them'. You cannot blame a whole people for the actions of a few. When Sarba and her friend Tekran reachs this crisis of conscience, they make a decision which has terrifying consequences for them. They are on the run from their own people, and from Sarba's father and his sorcerers.

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Terrific! Topical and relevant to the current Middle East situation - how do you stop hating the enemy when a terrorist attack has left your mother brain-dead? Your people are treated like slaves and your country is occupied territory - Fay Sampson explores modern themes in a fantastic adventure story which will suit young and mid- teens. Paul Norman, Gateway Monthly


Fay is such a good writer.  She has the gift of making you live through every scene.  You feel the imposingness of the sorcerer father, you see all the architecture of the white mountain, and then you find yourself gritty with sand in the desert sections.  It is as if you are there.  I don't know how Fay does it, but I hope she goes on doing it for a very long time to come. Diana Wynne Jones

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