'This is a carefully designed, multi-layered picture book for older readers. At the most literal level of the story, a boy demands that his mother buy a bracelet or amulet at a fair in the town square. The artifact looks like a snake chasing or devouring its own tail in an endless cycle.
'Alone in his attic room, the boy puts the bracelet on and falls asleep. At this, the snake comes to life in the boy's dreaming, thus telling its story. Even as the boy sees visions in his dreaming, through his open attic window, we, the readers, look down on the town square and see high drama. Invaders attack the town and rob the boy s house as he sleeps, a girl is rescued from the attic window opposite, there are scenes of heroism and death.
'These events might be what leads the boy to dispose of the charm when he wakes, taking it for a bad omen But what is real and what is not? Are the boy's fantastic snake-induced dreams the real events, or the events that we see at the real-life story level, taking place in the town square?
'The snake serves as a metaphor for story and narrative itself. Story as world-creating, eternal, terrifying at times, but sublimely beautiful.' (From the publisher's website.)