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Zoe Gilbert

Come back now, up the rocks that loom above the shore, to where the men and women of Neverness wait with their torches. The sky above their heads is showing the first stars. The door of the day is nearly shut, but this is the hinge of the year itself. Days are shrinking, nights spreading.

On a remote and unforgiving island lies a village unlike any other. Here in Neverness a girl might be snatched by the waterbull and dragged to his dark lair, and Jack Frost can take his chilling revenge on a jealous sister. A babe is born with a wing for an arm, and children ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. The beliefs and rituals of the islanders conjure their own dark spirits, flying with the red kites at night or stalking lustful boys through the gorse mazes. While the islanders live out their own tales, magic always lurks, blighting and blessing lives in equal measure.

Folk is a piece of exquisite writing in which stories interweve over the course of one generation of islanders. The folklore of Neverness is as tangible as its rocky shore, its deep woods and its gorse-prickled headland. In this world remote from our time and place, the tales the islanders tell in the village bard house come to life around them, twisting fates and changing lives.

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