- What elements of traditional fairy tale
and folklore has Sobat explored in her narrative?
- How does Morton Winter gain control over his city and the people
of Hinterlund? What is his most successful tactic?
- Although this is a fantasy, several of the characters and the
conflicts parallel those in our current (and past) century.
a. Draw comparisons between characters in the novel and those in
recent and current history.
b. Draw comparisons between treatment of individuals/ groups in the
fiction with historical realities.
- Why does Morton Winter metamorphosize
from thin and bony at the novel’s beginning to morbidly obese
at the end?
- Throughout the novel, the characters resort to various
means to elude and deceive the tyrant and his minions.
a. What sorts of ruses do the rebels devise and use?
b. Why and when does Ingamald resort to magic?
great moral quandary occurs when she gazes on the sleeping form of
Morton Winter. Why does she not destroy him then and there?
is on the other side of the ‘device’?
Topics and Themes English:
… Mythology and folklore
… The heroine’s quest
… Coming of age narrative
… Literature of the fantastic (speculative fiction)
… Power and corruption
Topics and Themes Social Studies:
… Oppression and absolute rulers
… Medieval torture
… Medieval feudal systems
… European witch hunts and witchcraft
… Spanish Inquisition
… Genocide (especially of North American Native Peoples)
… Carnival/ Mardi Gras traditions
The book is suitable for grades 7 through 12, and there are applications
for the study of either English or Social Studies/ History.