Tarwater, Tristan J.: Little Girl Lost (Valley of Ten Crescents) (2012)

Little Girl Lost
Book cover design: Christopher Tarwater
Cover artist: Amy Clare Learmonth (she has some incredible illustrations on her site)
Editor: Annetta Ribken

The cover of Little Girl Lost reminds me of the story of The Little Match Girl by HC Andersen (a story that made me bawl when I read it the first time). That look fits the story well as this is a story of orphans and poverty. A very short story. Only 15 pages long.

Tristan J. Tarwater calls Little Girl Lost a prequel to Thieves At Heart. I guess that makes it story no. 0 in the tale of Valley of Ten Crescents.

Tavera is around seven or eight years old when she is sold into service – not for the first time. Such a fate was not unknown (and probably isn’t today) in many parts of the world. Tavera’s previous work had been coal sorting, fruit picking and laundering.

Being an orphan has never been an easy life. Being a “half-breed” (in this case half-elf) seldom helped.

A sense of Hansel and Gretel enters the story when the ancient, hunched over crone, Mrs. Greswin, pokes a finger in Tavera’s ribs and states that she’ll soon have Tavera fattened up. Yikes, what does this sausage maker put into her sausages?

Like all children, at least I was, Tavera is curious and when Mrs. Creswin is drunk enough Tavera explores as much as she can and discovers surprising facts about the old lady, gets into trouble, and sometimes discovers secrets better left alone. As it is a prequel, you all know this story is going to end well for Tavera. Well, kind of.

I enjoyed this little tale that only took a short, short while to read.


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