Books

The Sky Beneath the Stone

Thirteen-year-old Ivy North is an adventurer. She can pitch a tent in four minutes flat, knows the local landscape like the back of her hand, and she’s an expert map reader. There’s just one problem.

She’s afraid to go outside.

But when her little brother is transformed into a kestrel by a powerful sorcerer, Ivy is the only one who can rescue him. Following him through a mysterious hole in the garden wall, she emerges in Underfell — an enchanted realm that seems like the Lake District she knows, but is dangerously different.

Battling her dread of being out in the open, Ivy must gather all her courage to navigate a path across this extraordinary world, where haughty fairies with birds’ wings fly through purple skies and a ghostly spectre haunts her every step. With the help of an unexpected new friend, can Ivy break the spell — before her brother becomes a bird forever?

An immersive and beautifully written fantasy adventure, The Sky Beneath the Stone is a soaring journey of family, friendship, overcoming fear — and realising that we are never as lost as we think we are. Alex Mullarky’s debut novel introduces a captivating new talent in children’s fiction.

“I absolutely adored this! The Sky Beneath the Stone is beautiful, bright and brilliant – a perfect blend of magic, adventure and heart, with a gorgeous Cumbrian setting, a wonderful weaving of nature, folklore and history, heart-lifting incidental inclusivity, and OS grid references at the start of each chapter so you can map the journey! It is one of those books I want to press into every young reader’s hands, because I know so many of them will fall in love with it.” Sophie Anderson, Carnegie-shortlisted author of The House with Chicken Legs

“A beautifully written adventure steeped in the myths and magic of the Lake District. I long to journey through the wall and explore the enchanted, dangerous wilds of Underfell!” Ross MacKenzie, author of the Nowhere Emporium trilogy

“Mullarky’s deep love of nature and the Lake District creates a stunning backdrop to this captivating and magical tale of loyalty and love.” Bren MacDibble, Aurealis-award winning author of The Dog Runner

“When her brother is enchanted, a young girl must overcome her fear of the outside in this assured fantasy debut. The richly drawn Lake District setting is enhanced by Ordnance Survey grid references at the beginning of each chapter.” The Bookseller

10% of author royalties from the sale of every book will be donated to Cumbria Wildlife Trust.


Cover art by Diana Renjina

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Pre-order from Kelpies or my Bookshop.org affiliate page – publication date 24th February 2022

If you would like a free signed bookplate, get in touch via the Contact page and I’ll post one out to you!