Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, given to her by natural magic in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters, gentle Branza and curious Urdda, grow up in this soft world, protected from the violence, predation, and village prejudice that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga s refuge. Now, having known heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side? This is a tale of journeys and transformations. From girl to witch to woman. From boy to beast to man. From hell to heaven to . . . reality. Building her tale on a mythic scaffolding, Margo Lanagan asks timeless questions about what it is to be human. She explores the evil and the sweetness in the world and reveals the essential magic of learning to live with both. Chosen as a 2009 Michael L. Printz honor book"