The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic begins with a prologue by the book's author, Professor Barnabas Quill, Historian of the Island at the Center of Everything (washed, dusted, translated, edited and greatly shortened for the rest of the world by Jennifer Trafton, as the title page informs us). Professor Barnabas writes "There is a very good possibility that you will not believe a word I say. Alas, it is the risk all historians take. The truest things are often the most unbelievable." Quill writes of an idyllic island inhabitants call "(rightly or wrongly) the Island at the Center of Everything" that, naturally also had its troubles. However, certain events change things on this island forever. Quill invites the reader to, "take off your cloak of doubt, empty your pockets of all suspicions and jests, sit down before the roaring fire of my tale, and believe." Trafton is a magnificently imaginative writer and, as the passage above proves, she is also a lovely writer, if that doesn't sound too squishy. What I mean is that, not only does Trafton perfectly capture the fairy tale tone, from characters to setting to plot catalyst in The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic but she tells her story in a blithely intelligent, often poetic way that makes you stop and reread a line or passage, like the one quoted above, throughout the book. Add to this, Helquist's expressive, gentle, sometimes shadowy illustrations which are perfectly matched to Trafton's lovely writing and you have a book that should not be missed.