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The Map of the Known World, by Steven Smith

Different

Prester John rules the Known World with an iron grip. Through his servants, the fanatical Brotherhood of Redemption, his dominion stretches into every land. Meanwhile fourteen year old Elowen Aubyn lives a miserable life in an orphanage. Bullied by the other children and by the cruel Master, she dreams of escape and adventure, little realising that her dreams are about to become terrifyingly real. When an encounter with the mysterious Tom Hickathrift leaves Elowen in possession of an ancient map, she is forced to flee and to seek the Illuminati, a forbidden sect long opposed to Prester John. Pursued by deadly enemies, Elowen soon discovers that her journey is far more dangerous than she could have possibly imagined. For the map she carries holds a secret, a secret that could change the world forever… The first part of the TREE OF LIFE trilogy, The Map of the Known World takes you into a saga of forgotten magic, adventure and treachery that will grip both young and old.