Black ashes fill the sky, as the City across the river burns. Green thought it wasn’t fair that she had to stay in the garden while her little sister and parents took their produce to the market across the bridge. Soon she would be 16 and could move to the city if she wanted to. She was always shy around other people while her sister, Aurora, glowed with happiness. But fire rained down on the City, burned the bridge, and consumed her family.
Green doesn’t need her ember-burnt eyes to see how the ashes kill the birds, blanket the garden, and smother the plants. She tattoos herself with each memory of loss, hacks off her hair, and armors herself against the world in her father’s coat sewn over with thorns, renaming herself Ash.
Food becomes scarce, and looters try to take over the farm. Hearing more than seeing, Ash gets through one day, then the next, with her sister’s dog as companion.
Will the sun never shine again? Why was the City attacked? Will this world remain ashes and death forever, or will it be green again someday? This short lyrical tale traces Ash's despair and Green's hope. Next in the series is Green Witch.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA