A magical, lyrical middle grade novel that will enchant fans of Kelly Barnhill and Anne Ursu, about a girl who must take on the ultimate responsibility in her village--and the dangers of secrets kept locked away in the dark.
Gussy knows that being a village Protector is a big job, even if Grandpa Widow makes the role look easy. So when Grandpa Widow is suddenly called to travel across the desert surrounding the village, and Gussy has to step into the role of Protector herself, she barely feels ready to perform the magical Rites that keep her village safe from the Great Doom, the mysterious power that threatens the residents in the lands outside.
On her very first night in charge, a mysterious young girl arrives in search of shelter, forcing Gussy to break the number one rule of being a Protector: When the sun goes down, keep the gates shut.
Soon it becomes clear that the Great Doom has managed to get inside the village walls. And as the villagers all look to Gussy for help, Gussy will have to turn to some surprising allies to save the only home she's ever known.