In the Service of The Boyar by Jason Graff
In the land of the Boyar, a boy will fall in love and become much more than a man.
Fleeing with his family from danger, a boy catches a glimpse of Fifika, as their clan travels with haste to the lands of the boyar, a mysterious benefactor.
Smitten, the boy becomes her playmate there in the Carpathians where the boyar resides and whose hillsides are filled with enchanted beasts. The boyar assures the clan that the beasts are harmless unless provoked, but some of the members are not so sure.
When tragedy visits Fifika’s family, the boyar invites her and the boy into his castle to learn from his English tutor, a lazy and fearful man. The boy, now almost a man, falls deeply in love under Fifika’s tutelage.
When he finally learns Fifika’s secret, he must choose between his family and the only life he knows and the uncertain dangers of life with her in the mountainous lands of the boyar with a very different kind of family.
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