Earth - Air - Water - Fire These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of healing, truth, joy, and intuition. But now, Shaftal is dying. The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal's ruling house has been scattered by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal's fate in the hands of three people.
"I love Laurie J. Marks!"
Shaftal has a ruler again, a woman with enough power to heal the war-torn land and expel the invading Sainnites from Shaftal. Or it would have a ruler if the earth witch Karis G'deon consented to rule. Instead she lives in obscurity with the fractious family of elemental talents who gathered around her in Fire Logic.
Nine-year-old Phineas William Walsh has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world. He knows that if you wet a dog's food with your saliva and he refuses to eat it then he's top dog, and he knows that dolphins can sleep half a brain at a time. What he doesn't know, though, is why his grandfather died, or why waste-of-flesh Lyle always picks on him. Or why his parents can't live together — after all, when other mate-for-life animals have a fight, it's not like one of them just packs his bags and leaves the country.