When Ricci, an eleven-year-old orphan from Earth, is invited to the elf city of Trinnifain, his sticky fingers twitch with excitement. Eager to perfect his craft on the friendly—if naive—elves, he patrols the city’s winding lanes in pursuit of loose purses and easy trinkets to liberate from their owners.
His gold-snatching days take a turn for the worse when two Protection Seeds are stolen from their graves in the city’s most sacred trees. If the remaining Seeds disappear, it will result in the complete annihilation of elf-kind. Ricci has grown fond of the peaceful species—and their gold—so sets aside his pick-pocketing ways to focus his attention on saving the remaining Seeds from ambitious hands.
Ricci’s quest for saving the Seeds inadvertently lands him as a key suspect in the theft. Following a stint in the cells, he becomes an object for the king’s wrath, and worse—ostracized at school. If Ricci’s resolve waivers even a little, the elves may become nothing more than a memory, a shadow in a past long forgotten.
The debut novel by M Dane, The Traitor in the Trees, is a new addition to the great fantasy tradition of Cornelia Funke, Brandon Mull and Patricia C. Wrede.