Walking The Tree by Kaaron Warren

Botanica is an island, but almost all of the island is taken up by the Tree.

Little knowing how they came to be here, small communities live around the coast line. The Tree provides them shelter, kindling, medicine – and a place of legends, for there are ghosts within the trees who snatch children and the dying.

Lillah has come of age and is now ready to leave her community and walk the tree for five years, learning all Botanica has to teach her. Before setting off, Lillah is asked by the dying mother of a young boy to take him with her. In a country where a plague killed half the population, Morace will otherwise be killed in case he has the same disease. But can Lillah keep the boy’s secret, or will she have to resort to breaking the oldest taboo on Botanica?

Another astonishingly imaginative novel from the acclaimed author of Slights.

I’d never heard of Walking the Tree (or Kaaron Warren, for that matter), before stumbling across it on the Angry Robot Books website, but damn if that cover didn’t grab my attention right away.

With artwork by Greg Bridges, this cover just bleeds with magical atmosphere. This is a great example of how good art let’s a cover speak for itself. It’s also exactly the type of cover I’d love to have on my novel, Through Bended Grass, if I’m ever lucky enough to see it on bookstore shelves.

  • Mark Chitty December 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

    This is very nice, it just goes to show how well a cover can work on a book. Not like Damage Time….

  • Seth December 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve never heard of the author either, but I too am intrigued by the cover and synopsis. I’ll follow this title with interest. Thanks!

  • AShR December 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    The author’s name should be ‘Kaaron’ not ‘Kaaren’. Her previous novel (from Angry Robot) “Slights” is a good one, very dark and disturbing – as is most of her work – but definitely worth a read as long as you don’t want anything too warm and fuzzy.

    As to Greg’s artwork… it is always great!

  • aidan December 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    You’re right! My apologies to Kaaron, I’m usually much better at not misspelling names, given my own hard-to-spell name.

  • Moonsanity December 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    The cover is awesome. I’ve never read the author either, but it looks very interesting. I haven’t read a really dark book in awhile.

  • Marco Angry Robot December 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, both Aidan and you guys – very gratifiying (I art directed and laid it out). Greg Bridges is a very underrated artist, possibly because as an Aussie he’s not always in the forefront of attention from US and UK commentators.

    And do look out for the full wraparound on the book itself – there’s a lot more to see of that tree! (Memo to self: get full wrap up on the Angry Robot site soon…)