Eons ago, when I was about seven or eight years old, I pulled a very dusty, battered copy of The Winter of Enchantment from the shelves of my tiny school library. The novel was, I remember, the most exciting, magical story I had ever encountered, and I fell in love with it immediately. After finishing it, I felt airy, optimistic, and aglow with the belief that magical things could happen at any given moment.
It's a feeling that has never left me.
For some reason, however, I didn't demand that my mother and I rush out to our local children's bookshop (back in the day when those still existed...) and buy a copy of The Winter of Enchantment for my very own. Instead, I chose to believe that the library book was the last remaining copy in existence. I adored the idea that another child, with similar literary tastes, would eventually pull it out and step into the secret world of Sebastian, Melissa, and Mantari. And then, we would be bonded by our wonderful, magical experience. It was an idea that seemed very, very romantic to me, and I was quite pleased with it.
Much later, at the cusp of adulthood, the memory of the magical tale popped into my head. I remembered flashes of the plot, something about a cat, and the fact that the cover of the library copy had been very, very purple. And that was it. The title of the novel had left me; the name of the author had long since been forgotten. Even with the help of the internet, I had no way of finding this novel. My hopes of rereading this masterpiece had been dashed.
And then, somehow, a miracle occurred. A friend, whose googling abilities were much more powerful than my own, somehow managed to track down both of Victoria Walker's works - The Winter of Enchantment and The House Called Hadlows. A small, Scottish publisher by the name of Fidra Books, which specializes in out of print works, had revived them. Joy reigned supreme! Astonishment overwhelmed me! And, most of all, magic was restored to my own, personal realm.
And, I hope, it will never leave.