When a benevolent king and his daughter, Princess Marie, find their peaceful kingdom threatened by an enormous, evil, seven-headed bird, the brave princess offers herself as the bird's hostage in order to prevent the entire kingdom from being thrust into eternal darkness. As soon as Soliday, a kindhearted, hardworking, and generous youth hears about the princess's sacrifice, he vows to kill the Bird of Darkness and save Marie. His identical twin brother -- the jealous, lazy, and dishonest Salacotta -- accompanies Soliday on the dangerous journey, but doesn't lift a finger in order to rescue the princess or slay the monstrous bird. And the second Salacotta sees his chance to claim that he was the one who freed the princess, he does just that. Will Soliday be able to convince everyone that he is indeed who he says? Will his brother admit his treachery? Will Soliday ever be able to trust his twin again? This timeless and resonant folktale about the forces of good and evil and the redemptive power of brotherly love is the perfect story for the ages.
Terry Widener is an award-winning illustrator whose picture books include Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man by David A. Adler, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, and America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, also by David A. Adler, a Junior Library Guild Selection. He is also the illustrator of Peg and the Whale by Kenneth Oppel and If the Shoe Fit by Gary Soto. Mr. Widener lives with his wife and three children in McKinney, Texas.
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