by Marcus Sedgwick
Interwoven stories
Printz award winner
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

This collection of interwoven stories spans years and multiple lifetimes of two inseparable souls – Eric and Merle (spellings differ).  When they are first parted Eirikr vows to return, “‘You cannot kill me.  Do you not know my name?  I am Eirikr.  The One King!  Forever Strong, and though you kill my body today, I will live again!  I will live!’” (p. 252)  They are bound to one another, and, seemingly to the island on which they originated, which is also the home of a rare orchid, the properties and preparations of which are once widely known by the islanders and then slowly become obscured over time.  Vivid and haunting.  I wished more than once for a complete novel to emerge from the bones of some of these stories.