The Fetch


The title comes from Nordic lore, which holds that everyone has a “fetch” or double, able to wander and shape-shift into an animal or ancestor. Humphreys uses this premise to weave a time-travel story of fifteen-year-old Sky, who is by day an only child of a constantly-moving-around family trying to fit in to each new community. By night and magic, he’s “fetched” in and out of time and forms at the behest of his sea captain grandfather’s runestones. He enters a distant Viking era at two ages…as a young man and an elder. At first terrified of his transformations, Sky begins to look forward to each calling back, as they add up to a rite of passage.

                Sky’s sleeping self is watched over by his cohort cousin, who also becomes various relatives in other times and places (with the inevitable “Oh, gross!” comment when she becomes his daughter). Sky is also stalked by a deadly enemy, a black-cloaked wraith who has been haunting his dreams since childhood and demands blood sacrifice.

                Elements of horror, fantasy, and historical fiction combine in sometimes choppy progression that is often effective but may leave the reader confused by tone shifts. This ambitious tale also sometimes sacrifices characterization to plot development. Ages 12+

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(US) 0375832920