For Anne, who knows what fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold
Once when the world was younger and the times ever so much older, there lived a miller who ground coarse flour, left stone chips in his meal, and stole as much wheat as he could take without his customers knowing for certain that they had been robbed.
That night brought with it the first warm breezes of the early spring. They came up as if they had been massing just outside the kingdom's borders, and then rushed forward like a roiling cloud. They blew up and over the city gates, setting the icicles to melting, dropping soggy chunks of snow from battlements, and puffing gently into houses and stables, so that men and women and horses and dogs woke from sleep and sniffed at the new smells.
So we danced and whistled through the night, until the dark sipped back the stars one by one and faded with its bloating.
They stood open against the sky that the setting sun had washed to a quiet gold.
What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, who are secretly plotting against the king. Another pursuer, the greedy King’s Grip, reveals a strange story of a little man who once spun straw into gold of incredible beauty for the queen but then disappeared with her firstborn son. Tousle realizes that the man he calls Da is the strange little man and, even more amazing, that he himself may be the lost prince. Or could it be Innes, who although cruelly blinded can hear the music of the dawn? This skillful blend of fantasy and adventure reveals what might have happened before the queen makes her third and last guess and the story of Rumpelstiltskinas we know itends.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:23 -0400)
Pursued by greedy villains, two boys on a quest to save innocent lives meet the banished queen whose son was stolen by Rumpelstiltskin eleven years earlier, and she provides much more than the answer they seek.