Great news: Thomas Wharton's The Shadow of Malabron, the first novel in the trilogy The Perilous Realm, has been nominated for both the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Childrens' Book Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award.



About an hour's walk southwest from the main gate of the city of Fable is the Crossroads of the Bourne:

"... A slight rise, shaded by a ring of tall elms, where roads from five directions met. In addition to the road from Fable, here the wide stone main road of the Bourne ran north and south, and crossed the narrower but well-tended east-west way.... Directly south on the main road lay the town of Goodfare, a day's walk distant. To the east were Stook and Owlet, two tiny villages less than a mile away, the pale wood smoke of their chimneys visible above the trees. Other larger towns lay that way, too, and beyond them, the River Arrow and the eastern borderlands. To the north the main road wound up through a range of hills called the Brades and so to the citadel of Annen Bawn upon the Bourne's stony northern marches. The road west led to several farming villages and other branching ways, then ended at the vast forest..."

Beyond the borders of the Bourne itself in every direction stretches the immensity of the Perilous Realm, with its innumerable lands and kingdoms and wonders. The people of the Bourne have long been accustomed to thinking of their country as one tiny, unimportant corner of the boundless Realm. They like to call their homeland a place where nothing ever happens (and they like it that way) but at the same time they have a saying that every road in the world eventually leads to these crossroads. If the Perilous Realm is the realm of Story, then the Bourne is that place that lies just at the edge of every Story, just on the margins or borders of Tale. And the crossroads of the Bourne, then, is the meeting place of Storyfolk, the place where all stories come together, if only for a moment, in passing.

So is the Bourne at the edge of all stories, or is it really at the centre? Or perhaps somehow it's both at the same time. All I know is that you can stand at these crossroads and for a fleeting instant feel that you have come to the true secret heart of Story.