Author(s): Patricia Forde
"You are the Wordsmith now. Are you ready for the challenge?" The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth. To make sure humans avoid the mistakes of their past and are able to survive, everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Everyone, that is, except Letta. As apprentice to the Wordsmith, Letta can read all the words that have ever existed. Words like freedom, music, and even pineapple tell her about a world she's never known. One day her master disappears and the leaders of Ark tell Letta she is the new Wordsmith and must shorten List to fewer and fewer words. When Letta meets a mysterious boy who somehow knows all the words that have been banned, she's faced with a dangerous choice: sit idly by and watch language slowly slip away or follow a stranger on a path to freedom "or banishment."
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
The fantasy book of the year. - Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis FowlA novel that truly stands apart for its originality and relevance... a book about words, about language, about their power to civilise - and, in the wrong hands, to abuse and dehumanise. - The Irish TimesAn electric sci-fi novel with a strong ecological and moral stance. - The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Book
Patricia Forde has written two plays, as well as several television drama series for children and teenagers. She lives with one husband, two teenagers, and a dog called Ben in a house in the middle of a small wood in Galway, Ireland. In her spare time she collects vintage children's books and reads them late into the night.