The first novel by Steven Bauer, originally published in 1980. Called a "fable" on the cover, it tells the story of the moon having been stolen from the sky by a nefarious owl and his army of ravens. A 14 year old boy and his best friend, an ages-old satyr, set up on the journey to restore light to the night, and save their world from falling out of balance. But there is more to the story than just that. What exactly are the owl's eventual plans for the world? Where did the boy come from, and are there more like him? And what exactly lies beyond their world's known borders?
The book sadly remains very rare and out-of-print to this day.
Don Bluth was planning to adapt the story into his would-be-second animated feature, but that was not meant to be.
Tropes present in the story:
- Anachronism Stew: There are many instances of modern analogies and sayings used by the author in descriptions, while the story is set in a fantasy world.
- Anyone Can Die: The novel is not very kind to ravens, good ones and bad.
- Crapsack World: After the moon is kidnapped, a sudden storm transforms the world into this. The sky gets enveloped with thick black clouds that let very little sunlight through, and the weather becomes very cold. The plant life slowly fades away, and those animals who manage to survive become too depressed to do anything about it.
- Ensemble Cast: One would assume the human boy is the main protagonist, but that is certainly not the case here.
- Fantastic Foxes: Vera, the snow fox, has magical powers, lived for many years, and can transform herself into a nymph and a mermaid (albeit only for a short while).
- Fauns and Satyrs: Matthew is the only one in the Meadow, but he doesn't seem to mind.
- Last of His Kind: Derin, the human boy, and Vera, the snow fox.
- Ominous Owl: Arguably, one of the best examples in literature.
- Race Against the Clock: Without the moon, the sun will slowly wane away. The heroes have roughly a week to fix everything.
- The Night That Never Ends: The Owl's plan. He doesn't seem much concerned about all the plants and animals that will die as a result.