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Lake of Shadows

Roni Gelbfish

AGE: 11 up

Wild, rebellious Tamar disappears one day, but her sister Ya’ara hears her voice echoing in her head. “I’m flying!” Tamar yells, and Ya’ara jumps with fright. After all, everyone knows that you’re not allowed to fly, especially when you’re only 13 years old. Ya’ara and Tamar are redheaded twins, daughters of an ancient tribe of winged, human-like beings living by the Sea of Galilee. They keep away from ordinary humans—they call them the “naïve people”--because they can’t see all that is magical and wonderful in the world and use whispers to cast spells. But they are forbidden to fly and must obey the rigid laws of their community.

But Tamar is not obedient, and so her sister sets out to look for her only to discover that sometimes the most dangerous thing is to obey the law. The twins get involved in a dizzying adventure with wild animals and magical creatures; they also face the ancient enmity between their tribe and one that lives in the caves of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. The two tribes have a different interpretation of their common history, their role in the world and their obligations to nature and humanity. 
Ya’ara and Tamar, daughters of the tribe’s queen, are at the center of a great war that may destroy the world. But they can save it and make peace, if they use their powers properly.
Lake of Shadows is a compelling and poetic fantasy tale that takes place inside gloomy caves and on mountaintops, from the shimmering Sea of Galilee, along the Jordan River, and all the way to the shadowy Dead Sea.


If you’ve always dreamed of flying and felt that you have [hidden] mental abilities, read Lake of Shadows … Gelbfish has written a fantasy tale that is reasoned and whole … An enchanted and beautiful story … An engrossing tale … whose fantasy lands are both familiar and wondrous, and whose characters make us want to meet them again.

Bakol Serloi, Makor Rishon


Wow! I have no better word … A superb book that … is very Israeli and will speak to all age groups … Suspenseful and enthralling as well as empowering and enriching … A spell-binding book, written in glorious Hebrew, that plunges and soars right up to the last page.

Atara Ofek, Marmelada


Gelbfish is a deep, original and intelligent writer.

Tal Marmelshtein, Israel Hayom


A thought- and emotion-provoking story … that also broadens the mind … Roni Gelbfish’s new book is a winning example of a book that provides enjoyment on both levels … Creative and replete with the small details that make for a very satisfying reading experience … Its young readers will enjoy its splendor and wealth. Highly recommended! 

Mor Dvorkin-Fogelman, Achbar Hair

A marvelous tale, based on profound knowledge of the fauna and flora of Israel, as well as of wizardry and poetry … A song of praise to the magic and poetry in our lives.

Yehiam Padan,


Her creativity and imagination can be seen in the book’s storyline … Gelbfish goes into detail and astonishes with her descriptions of nature - sometimes she seems to have borrowed Meir Shalev’s pen for this purpose.

Ehud Maximov, Makor Rishon

A mature, poetic and intriguing book, exciting and suspenseful. A book in which we see deep familiarity with the world of fantasy literature in general, and fantasy literature for teenagers in particular … [with] sensitive, delicate depictions of the young characters [and] a fine sense of humor … The descriptions are totally authentic … This is a book which, like its heroines, dares to fly high and to perform magic.

Tali Kochavi, HaPinkas

A glorious fantasy that takes place right here … A sweeping book with a well constructed plot … Gelbfish writes in rich and living Hebrew.

Gilad Nadler, Makor Rishon


Without any doubt, an original, interesting and attractive story, located in the here and now but with deep roots in the Hebrew and Israeli past.

Nira Levin, DafDaf 


Title Lake of Shadows
Author’s Last Name Gelbfish
Author's First Name Roni
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Dag Zahav
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 462 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Agam Ha-Tzlalim
Representation Represented by ITHL
Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
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The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
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Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
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Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!