It's 1536, and Dell lives on an isolated hillside with her bitter auntie and drunken father. Father has warned Dell never to venture past her mother's grave to the City of Cannibals. But unanswered questions plague Dell. Why did her parents leave the court of Henry VIII? Was her mother's death really an accident? And what about the mysterious Brown Boy who leaves sacks of supplies for her family? Dell risks traveling to the City of Cannibals. Once inside London, she is not eaten alive but is confronted with a different horror--the Oath of Allegiance. If she and the Brown Boy don't sign, they could be executed. Dell has good reason not to sign. But who can defy King Henry VIII and live?
A cloud of smoke filled the air in front of her and stung her eyes. Dripping fat sizzled, and through the greasy smoke, Dell could see something burning on a spit. It was a human leg--it was the leg of the woman who sat outside the gate. She looked closer. No. Not a human leg. A leg of mutton. Just mutton.
Ricki Thompson lives with her family in Minneapolis. She has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. This is her first novel.