The Grimmelings

by Rachael King

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The same evening Josh Underhill went missing, the black horse appeared on the hill above the house.

Thirteen-year-old Ella knows that words are powerful. So she should have known better than to utter a wish and a curse on the same day, even in jest.??When the boy she has cursed goes missing, in the same sudden, unexplained way as her father several years earlier, Ella discovers that her family is living in the shadow of a vengeful kelpie, a black horse-like creature.With the help of her beloved pony Magpie, can Ella break the curse of the kelpie and save not just her family, but the whole community.

Rachael King's writing is immersive and vibrant, rich in lore and an appreciation of the natural world that fans of Katherine Rundell, Susan Cooper and Kiran Millwood Hargrave will love.

"Splendidly inventive, expertly controlled, full of passion and compassion, and a narrative I would give four fingernails to have thought of."
David Hill

"A compelling and lovingly crafted novel."
David Mitchell

"Stunningly original. I loved it!"
Bren MacDibble

"I was gripped until the very end and it left me in tears."
Stacy Gregg

"Eerie and beautiful."
Elizabeth Knox

"Exquisitely crafted and thrumming with old magic."
Rachael Craw

"I could not put it down."
Zana Fraillon

"Set to become an all-time favourite for adults and children alike."
Tania Roxborogh

"Filled with evocative landscapes and stunning horses, this exciting novel also has the classic feel of The Dark Is Rising and other stories of ancient magic come to life. A wonderful read for ages 10+."

About the Author

Rachael King is a writer, reviewer, former literary festival director and ex-bass player living in Tautahi Christchurch. She's the author of two novels for children: Red Rocks, which won the Esther Glen Medal, and The Grimmelings, published in 2024.

Her adult novels, The Sound of Butterflies and Magpie Hall, were published in nine languages altogether. Red Rocks is currently in development for Sky TV by Libertine Pictures.Rachael received a Waitangi Day Honour Award in 2020 from the New Zealand Society of Authors for her work at WORD Christchurch bringing Behrouz Boochani to New Zealand. In 2023 she was named Best Reviewer at the Voyager New Zealand Media Awards.

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