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Shon knew that the Taken must die. Death had touched them, and the evil spirits which issued from Death’s Place to the east beyond the valley Took away the souls of the living. It was the law of Shon’s people, who seldom ventured far from their simple huthouses in Pine Walk, except to hunt boar in the forest. And even the forest was not completely safe, for across the river at its eastern edge lay Crow Mork, Death’s Place, and in the stories Crow himself, who was Death, rode there with Crow’s People, Death’s children, on strange four-legged beasts shod with white metal and swift as the wind.
Lost in the dark forest, Shon encountered Death’s Children. ‘Don’t go home,’ the dead girl told him – he was almost sure it was a girl, though her face was a black void in the night. But there was nowhere else to go. They would kill him, of course; being Taken, they would have to.
Yet Shon escaped that death – though he was to meet Death in Death’s Place, and learn the extraordinary truth about it.
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