Eleven-year-old Lindelin “Lin” Rosenquist is mourning the death of her pet vole, Rufus, and miserable in her new home away from her best friend and childhood haunts. One dark evening, she receives a mysterious package labelled “Twistrose” with a rose-shaped key inside. She discovers that the key unlocks a strange portal in the cellar under the house, and the portal leads to the magical kingdom of Sylver, entirely populated by animals with some kind of special bond to children on Earth. The petlings are deceased pets, and the Wilders are ones that were tamed, and in Sylver they have ways of watching over their beloved friends.
Lin is overjoyed to discover that not only is she reunited with Rufus, but he is now nearly as big as she is, and can talk to her. Lin soon discovers that in times of great need for Sylver, children who can help the eternally snow-covered kingdom are called. These children are called Twistroses, and Lin is the latest of them. She needs to find the missing Winterfyrst quickly, before the sinister and mysterious Margrave and his army of snow trolls take over the kingdom, and make it impossible for Lin to ever return home to her family.
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