The first in a trilogy, The Wind Singer is a mesmerizing and remarkably realized fantasy novel full of adventure, suspense, humor and warmth.
In the city of Aramanth, the mantra is, "Better today than yesterday. Better tomorrow than today." Harder work means the citizens of Aramanth can keep moving forward to improved life stations--from Gray tenements and Orange apartments, upwards to glorious mansions of White. Only some families, like the Haths, believe more in ideas and dreams than in endless toil and ratings. When Kestrel Hath decides she is through with the Aramanth work ethic, she is joined in her small rebellion by her twin brother Bowman and their friend Mumpo. Together, they set the orderly city on its ear by escaping Aramanth's walls for an adventure that takes them from city sewers to desert sandstorms. Guided by an archaic map, they know that if they can find the voice of the Wind Singer, an ancient and mysterious instrument that stands in the center of Aramanth, they can save their people from their dreamless existence. But the voice is guarded by the dreaded Morah and its legion of perfect killing machines, the Zars. Are three ragtag kids any match for an army of darkness?
William Nicholson was born in 1948, and grew up in Sussex and Gloucestershire. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story , both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March . In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, was Evening Standard Best Play of 1990, and went on to a Tony Award winning run on Broadway. He was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of the film version, which was directed by Richard Attenborough and starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.
Since then he has written more films - Sarafina, Nell, First Knight, Grey Owl , and Gladiator (as co-writer), for which he received a second Oscar nomination. He has written and directed his own film, Firelight ; and three further stage plays, Map of the Heart , Katherine Howard and The Retreat from Moscow , which ran for five months on Broadway and received three Tony Award nominations.
His novel for older children, The Wind Singer, won the Smarties Prize Gold Award on publication in 2000, and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2001. Its sequel, Slaves of the Mastery , was published in May 2001, and the final volume in the trilogy, Firesong , in May 2002. The trilogy has been sold in every major foreign market, from the US to China.
He is now at work on a new sequence of novels for older children, called The Noble Warriors . The first book, Seeker , was published in the UK in September 2005.The second book, Jango, in 2006 and the third book NOMAN, will be published in September 2007.
His novels for adults are The Society of Others (April 2004) and The Trial of True Love (April 2005).
He lives in Sussex with his wife Virginia and their three children.