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Burnt Snow :  The Book of the Witch - Van Badham

Burnt Snow

The Book of the Witch

Paperback

Published: 1st September 2010
For Ages: 14 - 99 years old
Ships: 10 to 14 business days
10 to 14 business days
RRP $24.99
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Sophie is in the last term of Year 11. She's used to moving around with her accountant father and free-spirited mother, so the move to a small town on the South Coast in NSW doesn't seem too out of the ordinary - at first.

But things are changing around Sophie. A new school means a new start - and she's tired of her mother's superstitions and control. When she's recruited to the ranks of the school's popular girls, Sophie seizes the opportunity to remake herself... and unleashes forces a lot more threatening than whether she can hide her true nerd nature from the high school bitch brigade.

As Sophie negotiates teenage preoccupations with overprotective parents, whether her pyjamas are cool enough for a sleepover and the school-ground politics of secrets, lies and faithless boyfriends, something dark is hovering on the edge of her vision. The school Goth delivers her an ominous warning, strange birds seem to be following her... and fate keeps reuniting her with the dangerous bad boy with a past that nobody wants to talk about: Brody Meine.

Violent storms suddenly erupt, windows explode in the classroom, and a fire engulfs an entire street. And all these escalating, demonic happenings seem to take place when Sophie and Brody Meine are together...

About the Author

Van Badham is the award-winning writer of more than 30 internationally produced plays for stage, music theatre and radio. Her theatre plays have had seasons at the Sydney Opera House, the Wharf studio, the Seymour Centre, the Victorian Arts Centre, Perth's Blue Room and the Adelaide Festival. She has had plays and musical theatre staged at seven Edinburgh Festivals, in London and on the UK touring circuit, in America, in Iceland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria and in Germany. MIT Press in the US published her 2003 Edinburgh hit: Camarilla. Her scripts for radio have been broadcast by the BBC World Service, Radio 3 and Radio 4. In 2007, Van's play The Gabriels became the first Australian play selected for New York's Summer Play Festival.

PROLOGUE

There were twenty-eight of them surrounding me, and they all meant me harm.

In the half-light glow of the burning torches, and the shadows of their hoods, their faces were masks of impending violence.

They all had weapons. Amongst their number were several men large enough to kill me with their bare hands – but it was the smallest one, the girl holding the white-handled knife, who frightened me the most.

The boy squirmed, half-conscious, on the wooden frame to which they'd tied his body. He struggled weakly against his bonds – and now I, who should have been his saviour, was also a prisoner.

'This marriage contract is blood for blood,' said the girl in a dark voice. Her hand flashed towards me and torchlight flickered on the blade of her knife. I fell back, gasping. I thought she'd missed me until I felt wetness pool across my shoulders to my collarbone, then a sharp sting. I looked down: my white robe was collared with dark, shining blood. She'd cut me from shoulder to shoulder.

'This is your wedding dress,' she hissed.

Two of the Finders came towards me. Blood streamed from my wound and now my eyes also streamed with tears. The boy squirmed again – the drug was wearing off, and whatever they intended to do to him he would not suffer painlessly.

'Please... Please... It's not him you want!' I pleaded with the girl. 'He hasn't caused any of this, I swear it! I swear!' Rough hands tore at the ropes tying my hands and the bonds came loose.

I was shoved towards the boy. His eyelids were opening. He'd be conscious in seconds.

A voice amongst the Finders barked, 'Return the demon to his hell!'

'No!' I screamed. 'Kill me! He's innocent!'

I heard his voice slur, 'Sophie...?'

I fell at the girl and snatched at her soaking robe. 'Don't kill him! Don't kill him!' I screamed, but the Finders tore me from her.

'Sophie, where are you?' he mumbled.

I sobbed. In the fracas, I'd torn the girl's hood from her head.

She shook out her hair and smiled. Her voice was tiny.

'I have no intention of killing him,' the girl purred.

The chant hummed amongst the Finders: 'MOR-si-an... MOR-si-an... MOR-si-an!'

'Sophie!' he cried.

The girl roared to the crowd, 'We have brought him down!' Her eyes flashed to me then, and her words were for me alone: 'It's you who will finish it.'

The chanting thundered – and the hilt of the white-handled knife was thrust into my hand.

ISBN: 9780330425728
ISBN-10: 0330425722
Audience: Children
For Ages: 14 - 99 years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 700
Published: 1st September 2010
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 4.2
Weight (kg): 0.46