Not since the Little Prince fell in love with a
rose has a book captured the magic of a world where love longs for what it
cannot have, recovers what it has lost, and the unimaginable flutters with
luminescent wings out of crystal caves.
Panache, an exuberant road gypsy, is on
her way to the mountains. Benjamin Pencil, the man with the glass heart, has no
use for mountains. But their paths cross, their lives intertwine, and Benjamin
follows her up, up, up to where hills are smothered in poppies and a man can
reach out and write his name in the sky. As they travel, they first encounter
the beautiful but predatory Woman with the Breeding, a collector of hearts who
tries to add Benjamin’s exquisite heart to her pitiable hoard. Next they meet
the malicious Laughing Man, who lives only to create fear and kill dreams. Finally, and unpredictably, they meet Panache’s iconoclastic, unreliable, and utterly irresistible
father. Papa, who plays his saxophone with the same wild abandon with which he lives
his life, cautions Panache that if the mountains are in a man, he will go
there—and that mountains are in the man with the glass heart.
It is in those
mountains that they meet the melodious laughing bird. Melody, with her
irresistible song and aquamarine eyes, lures Benjamin to an Arabian Nights
world where hypnotizing creatures dance and sing late into the night. At what
peril does Benjamin Pencil follow the melodious laughing bird? To what end? Can
real hearts be broken? Is a shattered heart the end of all love, or can it be a
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