The Cloud Thief

In The Cloud Thief, Mara lives with her father in a drought-stricken village.  Following the effects of climate change, water is extremely scarce.  Rain is precious and comes at a price.  It is controlled by powerful cloud-makers. Without enough water, the village crops, animals and people will continue to suffer.  Mara’s father is unwell, and when his illness deteriorates Mara decides the only thing she can do is steal a cloud from The Cloud Factory.  She is banking on water from the cloud helping to improve his health.  However, Mara is mistaken at the Cloud Factory for one of the new apprentices who work there.  Stealing a cloud turns out not to be simple at all.  As her quest continues, she begins to discover the deep secrets behind The Cloud Factory.  This is an exciting and thoughtful fantasy adventure from the always excellent James Nicol.

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Description

The Cloud Thief

James Nicol

(Chicken House)

The Cloud Thief tells of a world ravaged by the effects of climate change.  Here, water has become a very scarce resource.  The only reliable source is from clouds.  However, the mysterious and sinister Cloud Factory controls the manufacture and supply of the clouds.  Only the wealthiest can afford to pay and for some communities the situation is critical.  In the community of Withering-on-the-Sand-Sea, Mara lives with her father and her pet squirrel Fidget.  Her community is one of those that effectively has to rely on charity to get clouds for rain.
Mara’s father is unwell and when his condition deteriorates, Mara is convinced that he needs rainwater to improve.  She decides that she must venture to the nearby Cloud Factory with a not very worked-out plan to steal a cloud.  On arrival at the factory, her failure to stay well concealed leads to her being misidentified as one of the new apprentices.  She is befriended by another of the workers Cresta.  Mara gets involved both in the planned theft and the resistance movement.  Stealing a cloud is turning out to be much more complicated than she anticipated.
James Nicol has triumphed once again with this magical and charming story.  Themes of trust, competition monopoly and climate change lurk in the background, but essentially this is an exciting and thoughtful adventure.
Bookwagon is pleased to stock other James Nicol books, including The Apprentice Witch.

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