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Authors: K.E. Ormsbee

The Doorway and the Deep

BOOK: The Doorway and the Deep
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The Water and the Wild
is a debut children's fantasy that feels akin to the British childhood favorites I grew up reading—The Chronicles of Narnia,
The Dark Is Rising
, and
Alice in Wonderland
. So introduce your child to a modern classic in the making or read it yourself in nostalgic remembrance.” —Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction

“Engaging. Imaginative.” —
Kirkus Reviews

“Humorous descriptions and vivid creatures. Should keep many readers intrigued.” —
Publishers Weekly

“An exciting journey full of obstacles and fun action.” —
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

To Kenneth and Ann Ashby,
who gave me summer days on the farm
and to George and Betty Ormsbee,
who gave me bittersweet Irish ballads—
I love you

References to poems are marked with a
Find a
complete list
of the poems referenced.

Text copyright © 2016 by K. E. Ormsbee.
Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Erwin Madrid.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
Names: Ormsbee, Katie, author.
Title: The doorway and the deep / by K. E. Ormsbee.
Description: San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2016] | Sequel to: The water and the wild. | Summary: Even after escaping from the Southerly Kingdom, Lottie Fiske has returned to the magical Albion Isle, despite the fact that she is a wanted criminal there, because she is seeking answers about her abilities, and her parents—but war is threatening Limn, and the answers she needs seem to lie in the Northerly Kingdom, along a road full of dangers.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016000984 | ISBN 9781452136363 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781452159072 (epub)
Subjects: LCSH: Magic—Juvenile fiction. | Orphans—Juvenile fiction. | Friendship—Juvenile fiction. | Adventure stories. | CYAC: Magic—Fiction. | Orphans—Fiction. | Secrets—Fiction. | Friendship—Fiction. | Adventure and adventurers—Fiction. | GSAFD: Adventure fiction.
Classification: LCC PZ7.O637 Do 2016 | DDC [Fic]—dc23 LC record available at

Design by Amelia Mack.
Typeset in Jannon Antiqua.

Chronicle Books LLC
680 Second Street
San Francisco, California 94107

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“To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
But as you shake off one to take another;
Nothing so certain as your anchors.”


Sharpening Lessons

grew in the heart of Wandlebury Wood. It was a burst of color in a land of white. Its roots sank deep into the earth, so deep they reached other worlds altogether. Though the bark was grooved by the grinding of time, it showed no sign of decay.

A solitary guard hovered beside the tree, though there was little activity to keep him busy these days. Since the Plague had come to Wisp Territory, there had only been two travelers to emerge from the apple tree's trunk: a girl with a periwinkle coat, and a boy with a slight cough.

Not five minutes' walk from the red apple tree was a place known by its current residents as the Clearing. Here, set apart from the surrounding forest, three yews grew from an
expanse of white grass, canopied by silvery fabric and strings of globed lights. Autumn was in the air, and hard gusts of wind often blew through the Clearing, causing the fabric to billow, the lanterns to teeter, and the long white grasses to whisper amongst themselves. Such a wind was blowing now, on the cusp of a new dusk. It was whipping up the lemony hair of a girl who stood upon the branch of one of the yews.

“Trouble's missing,” she said.

“Urgh,” the tree replied.

Lottie Fiske peered into the tree's hollowed-out trunk. She had just learned in the past week how to keep her sneakers balanced on a yew branch without toppling over.

“Fife?” she called.

“Something is talking.
is something talking?”

A plume of black hair appeared in the trunk hole under Lottie's nose. Fife blinked up at Lottie, his eyes bleary in the glare of the setting sun.

“Um,” said Lottie. “Good evening.”

“Shhh,” said Fife, flapping a hand at Lottie's mouth. “The talking. Make it stop. So . . . loud.”

“I need to talk to Oliver,” said Lottie. “Trouble's gone—”

“—missing,” Fife finished. “Huh. Did you check your pockets?”

Lottie gave Fife a dirty look.

“What? It's funny.”

“He was in my pocket when I went to sleep, and when I woke up he was gone.”

“Wait. He's just been gone for a day?” Fife snorted. “That hardly qualifies as missing.”

“But you don't understand! He left without my permission. Gengas aren't supposed to do that.”

“Yeah, but Trouble's
. Didn't Ollie tell you that the first rule of training is to remain cal—”



Two glowing eyes, bright yellow with concern, appeared behind Fife's mane of hair.

“Lottie,” Oliver said again, his voice hoarse from sleep. “Why are you shouting?”

“I wasn't—Fife,
stop laughing

Fife just laughed harder, his shoulders shaking as he floated out of the yew. He turned a double somersault and landed in a thick patch of mud at the tree's base.

“Quit worrying!” he called up. “You'll feel much better about the whole thing once you've eaten some breakfast.”

“I'm confused,” said Oliver, rubbing his eyes. When he lowered his hand, his irises had dimmed to a groggy gray. “What's the problem?”

“Trouble. He flew off, and he hasn't come back.”

“Has he done that before?”

“Of course he hasn't! Don't you think I would've told my own genga trainer if Trouble was misbehaving?”

“You didn't tell me about the candy incident.”

“Ooh!” shouted Fife. “Don't forget the green paint incident. That one's a classic.”

Lottie sniffed proudly. “I had complete control of those situations.”

That wasn't true, and both Lottie and the boys knew it. The last time Trouble had misbehaved, they had all nearly been banished from Wisp Territory. It had taken several hours of heated discussion between Mr. Wilfer and Silvia Dulcet to sort things out.

It was a tricky position to be in, having to depend upon the generosity of the wisps. But Iris Gate, the Wilfers' home in New Albion, was a charred husk and now belonged to King Starkling. Lottie, Fife, and the Wilfers were wanted criminals on Albion Isle—now more than ever after their escape from the Southerly Court. In the end, Silvia Dulcet, Fife's mother and the Seamstress of the wisps, had offered them shelter.

Mr. Wilfer remained one of the most revered healers on the island, so Silvia had struck up a deal with him: she would provide a home for him and his guests if Mr. Wilfer would work on a cure for her people's plague. The arrangement had been, in the words of Fife, “very symbiotic or some such crap.”

These arrangements were made while Lottie was still back on Kemble Isle, staying with Eliot at the Barmy Badger. Mr. Walsch had taken his son to see the doctor a few days after Lottie's return from Albion Isle. It had been an eventful visit, and Lottie had spent the entirety of it grinning from ear to ear.

It was impossible, the doctor had said.
Unprecedented. Unbelievable

The doctor had gone on to use several other big words beginning with “im” and “un,” but the long and short of it—all that
mattered—was that Eliot Walsch had made a remarkable recovery since his last visit, when that very same doctor had said,

Two, maybe three weeks to live.”

“The disease is still present,” said the doctor, “but Eliot himself is in excellent health, considering. I simply can't explain it.”

Lottie didn't mind that the doctor had no explanation. She had one of her own.

She had a keen.

With the touch of her hands, she could heal others.

had healed Eliot.

So Lottie's status as a wanted criminal hadn't deterred her from returning to Albion Isle. She still had a good deal to learn about her keen, and, according to Mr. Wilfer, if she wanted to be the best healer she could be, she needed to train. Lottie did want to become a good healer,
but more than that, she wanted to make Eliot Walsch better for good.

Eliot's father had been wonderfully understanding about the whole thing. He wasn't like other adults—people like Mrs. Yates who didn't believe in magic and thought there was only one proper way to do things. Mr. Walsch believed Lottie's story about another world—an Albion Isle just on the other end of an apple tree's roots. Not long after that doctor's visit, Mr. Walsch sold the Barmy Badger and moved to a cottage south of New Kemble. It was a humble stone house, much smaller than the Barmy Badger had been. But in its backyard grew a whole grove of apple trees—some green, some red, some yellow. Lottie, who knew full well the precious value of an apple tree, thought Mr. Walsch could not have chosen a better new home.

On the pale October morning when Lottie and Eliot pulled the silver bough of one of those trees, Mr. Walsch hugged them tight and bid them goodbye.

“When you get a chance like this, kiddos,” he said, “you must take it.”

Eliot promised Mr. Walsch he would send a letter home every day, using a certain copper box Lottie had retrieved from the stump of her apple tree in Thirsby Square. He and Lottie both promised to return in a month's time for Thanksgiving dinner and the winter holidays.

BOOK: The Doorway and the Deep
12.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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