In every generation, a fantasy novel is published that captures something essential and enduring about life that no other book has expressed in quite the same way. Here unfolds a journey of discovery–in a story that surprises us on every page. . . . THE MEQ On May 4, 1881, the day that Zianno Zezen–Z, for short–turns twelve, his life changes forever. Amid the confusion of a tragic train wreck, he has the first inkling that he is no ordinary boy . . . that he is not human at all, but instead a member of a race known as the Meq. The Meq have lost all memory of their origins; they do not know why they heal with astonishing speed, or why, once they turn twelve, they stop aging unless they meet the single other member of their race destined to join with them. Certain Meq possess even more amazing powers, thanks to mysterious Stones they have carried since before the dawn of recorded history. Z’s father carried such a Stone, the Stone of Dreams. Now that Stone is Z’s to bear . . . and to protect. The Meq are far-flung and elusive, but Z finds allies. He will need them; for a challenge comes from the renegade Meq called the Fleur-du-Mal–the Flower of Evil. A sadistic assassin in the body of a twelve-year-old boy, the Fleur-du-Mal will become Z’s archenemy in a story that spans decades and continents and features an unforgettable cast of characters, human and Meq alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.