The second book of The Seven Songs
King Abba has been overthrown and his palace destroyed, but two of the royal children, Fion and Dream, have been rescued and taken to safety in the valley of Wildern behind the mountain. Here they are given refuge in an alternative community known as the Bellsingers, and looked after by Margaret, a wise woman with special powers.
Fion and Dream spend the next months leading a totally different kind of life from their upbringing in the royal palace. In this new and challenging world, they become close to Peredis, a charismatic ex-soldier with a mysterious background whom Margaret suspects of conspiring against them.
Under constant threat from their enemies, the youngsters realise that it may be only a matter of time before they have to flee again. But where can they go and who can they trust? It seems that their strength and courage are to be tested as never before.
“Behind the Mountain is a fiction book for the young and old alike. It is a thrilling adventure story which unfolds with a refreshingly light narrative and yet with a depth of intrigue and enchanting wisdom … The story both lifts the reader up and away into another world – with a concoction of enchantment, adventure, fear and love – while pulling the reader inward into deeper reflection … This is an important book for the times we live in …”
Giles Hutchins, author of The Nature of Business, and The Illusion of Separation.
“We’re going,” said Peredis. “I’m not discussing it.”
Fion looked across at Margaret whose face showed disapproval. “I do really want to go,” he said, and tried to reassure her. “I’m with Peredis. I’ll be fine.”
“There’ll still be snows up there,” Margaret insisted. “It can be dangerous especially at this time of year with the melting. And you might run into …”
She left the sentence unfinished with a warning stare at Peredis, who ignored her and turned to the boy. “Be ready in ten minutes by the bridge. Good shoes, warm jacket, hat, rucksack with a change of clothes. I’ll bring the gear. If we go now, we’ll be back before dark.”
“Great!” Fion exclaimed, and didn’t stay to catch Margaret’s eye. As he raced off, Peredis turned to the anxious figure beside him.
“Look at him, he’s fifteen now, a big strong lad and he’s already taller than you. Don’t fuss about him. He needs to be strong for all that’s waiting for him in life. Think about it.”
With this, Margaret couldn’t disagree. She opened her mouth as if to protest further, but only said “Take care,” as she turned away and left him.
As he ran to prepare for the trip, Fion looked up at the mountain with its jagged peaks running along the edge of the sky. True, there was still snow up there, glinting white, caught in the rocky hollows where the sun never reached. But for Fion, that only added to the sense of adventure. He had every confidence in Peredis and trusted him absolutely.
With Margaret it was difficult sometimes. It was if she had taken over the role of their mother and sometimes was just as bossy. And she had funny ideas. How had this argument started? With Peredis simply saying that he would take Fion up to conquer the mountain.
“We don’t conquer mountains,” Margaret had commented brusquely, rather like a schoolteacher to a child. “We crown them, we don’t conquer them.”