The time: an alternate 2008. The place: Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
Oil has dried up. The economy has collapsed. Residents barter and grow backyard gardens to survive. The suburbs are walled strongholds of wealth and weapons. The Twin Cities teeter on the brink of anarchy. As urban unrest grows, war becomes imminent. If that's not enough, star student and runner Clair Ibsen has problems of her own. At 15, her life is upside down. Her father has lost his job. Now their house is in foreclosure and in the middle of a war zone. Facing homelessness, Clair suffers from the ailment of the age: anxiety. Her cure? To run! Among these dizzying challenges, Clair puts her feet to work as a messenger for a secret coven of urban witches. In return, they agree to use their elegant arts of persuasion help her family. As each mission takes her deeper into the heart of her fractured city, Clair soon finds that such persuasion comes at a cost... In her epic quest to save her home, Clair contends with betrayals by old friends, wannabe urban vampires, a slightly crazed punk rock spiritual advisor, tensions between the Twin Cities' ethnic factions, and the persistent advances of an unbalanced teenage feudal lord who wants to make her his queen.
Told in the unrhymed verse of epic poetry--the choice of Shakespeare and Milton--but written in contemporary, everyday language, author-poet E.C. Hansen has crafted this charming, fleet-footed work as an optimistic antidote to the recent flood of dystopian teen novels. Clair's heroic quest for purpose and belonging is the perfect literary epic for our uncertain times.