The Decemberists' Colin Meloy has revealed his first foray into children's fantasy (unless you count The Hazards Of Love, though it might be best if we forget that ever happened). Wildwood, written by Meloy and illustrated by his wife (and Decemberists album artist) Carson Ellis, concerns a young girl's quest to rescue her brother from a murder of nefarious crows. According to a blurb on the group’s website, the story boasts "a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions." Wildwood is also billed as the first book in The Wildwood Chronicles, suggesting that Meloy aims to fill in the massive Harry Potter-sized hole in your heart.
The book is available for pre-order, and you can read the first four chapters by clicking “Like” over on its Facebook page. As for its layout and tone, it’s pretty much what you'd expect: It resembles a Decemberists album in book form, beginning with the opening line, "How five crows managed to lift a 20-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries." Meloy and Ellis have also put some extras up on the website, including a discussion of the book, and an iTunes playlist of Wildwood-themed songs (none of which are originals, sadly). The book will see official release on August 30.