Clive Barker, known as a master of fantastical horror stories, has ventured again into children's literature. Yet, his new novel ABARAT, is quite different from his earlier children's work THE THIEF OF ALWAYS, which was a simple and spooky tale. ABARAT is a vast and colorful fantasy in the tradition of the Oz and Narnia stories. The world of Abarat grew out of a series of paintings the multi-talented Barker created. Inspired by his own imagination, he wrote the story of the paintings and the characters and places they portray. The book itself (the first in a projected 4-part series) is full of these vivid paintings helping to transport the reader to the new universe Barker has created.
The journey to Abarat is undertaken by the unassuming Candy Quakenbush, a 16-year-old girl from Chickentown, Minnesota. Driven to boredom, anger and frustration by her cruel teacher, alcoholic father and distracted