Winning Year: 1987 Author: Susan Price Title: The Ghost Drum
Faber Current Publisher:
Faber & Faber Format:
0571153402 In Print
Czar Guidon kept his son Safa imprisoned in a tower. His power could only be matched by the witch-girl Chingis. Out of the frozen wastes she studied the words and runes that would give her power to understand the messages of the ghost drum. At last she heard Safa's cries.
Susan was born and raised in the Black Country, first at a small primary school a few minutes' walk from her home, and then to a large Comprehensive which used, from time to time, to be overwhelmed by terrible stinks from the factories all round.
She hated school; she makes no secret of that. Reading books and writing was an escape from it. She used to become so absorbed in books that people could speak to her and she wouldn't hear them.
Here is the age-old lure of a story told in traditional style. Susan price draws on russian folklore and storytelling to give a timeless sense of place to this often brutal tale of royal and magical power struggles. Her characters are the stuff of fairytale, witches, a czar and an imprisoned prince.