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Authors: Angie Sage

Fyre

BOOK: Fyre
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Dedication

For my father and mother,
thank you

C
ONTENTS

Dedication

 

Map
Prologue: Harbinger
1 - What Lies Beneath
2 - A White Wedding
3 - Puddles
4 - Migration
5 - The Great Chamber of Alchemie
6 - Listening
7 - False Trails
8 - Keeper’s Cottage
9 - Triplets
10 - The Cloud Flask
11 - Dragon
Fyre
12 - The Chamber of the Heart
13 - Welcome Back
14 -
DisEnchantment
15 - The Last Day
16 - Missing
17 - Falling
18 - Transports
19 - What Might Have Been
20 - Witchery
21 - What Is to Be
22 - Relations
23 - The Alchemie Chimney
24 - Not a Good Morning
25 - The Stranger Chamber
26 - Bad Timing
27 - Mystery Reading
28 - Bait
29 - Doorstepping
30 - Port Palace
31 - Jenna’s Journey
32 - Heaps versus Heaps
33 - Scorpion
34 - Smugglers’ Bolt
35 - Sprung
36 - To the Castle
37 - Exits
38 - Dragons Away
39 - Intruders
40 - Keepers
41 - Deep Trouble
42 - Foryx
43 - Rocky Times
44 - Somewhere
45 - Flood
46 - Showdown
47 -
Fyre
48 - A Queen
49 - An ExtraOrdinary Wizard
Endings
Thank You

 

About the Author and Illustrator
Also by Angie Sage
Praise for Septimus Heap
Credits
Back Ad
Copyright
About the Publisher

Map

P
ROLOGUE:
H
ARBINGER

A
flame burns at midnight.
On an island in the wild Marram Marshes, a young woman holds up a lantern. Her long dark hair blows in the warm wind, salty from the sea; the lantern light glints off the gold circlet around her head and the golden edging to her long red robes—the robes of a Castle Queen.

The Queen is not alone. Beside her is an old man with long, wavy white hair held back with an ExtraOrdinary Wizard headband. He is resplendent in purple robes richly embroidered with
Magykal
symbols—this is the very first ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Hotep-Ra.

The island on which they stand is an ancient
Listening Place
, and Hotep-Ra is
Listening
carefully. As he stands statue-still, absorbed in something far away, his frown deepens. “It is as I feared,” he whispers. “They have discovered me at last.”

The Queen does not understand
Magyk
, but she respects it because it once saved her daughter’s life. She nods sadly. She knows that this will take Hotep-Ra away from her forever.

 

A flame burns at half past midnight. The Queen and Hotep-Ra are underground, and the light from the lantern shows a smooth white wall covered in bright columns of hieroglyphs. The Queen is searching for a symbol. She soon finds it: a blue-and-gold circle enclosing a dragon. She places her hand on the circle and they wait. The Queen sees Hotep-Ra twist the ring on his right index finger: a delicate gold dragon with its tail in its mouth and a bright-green emerald for its eye. The ring is beautifully made, but the loveliest thing about it is the soft yellow light that comes from deep within and glows in the shadows of his hand.

And now, with a deep, slow rumble, the wall of hieroglyphs begins to move, rolling back to reveal a dark, wide space before them. The Queen smiles at Hotep-Ra. He returns her smile a little sadly and together they step forward.

The Queen holds up her lantern and its light illuminates a pair of brilliant white marble columns that rise up into the darkness. They walk between the columns, and progress slowly across the mosaic floor, bright with reds, yellows, whites and greens. And then they are there. The Queen hands her lantern to Hotep-Ra and he holds it high so that its light shines on the most beautiful creature he has ever seen: his faithful Dragon Boat.

The Dragon Boat’s hull is broad and sturdy, built for the sea, and recently Hotep-Ra has gilded it. This—and the mast with its azure sail—is the inanimate part of the boat. The rest is living dragon. Tucked neatly alongside the hull are the dragon’s wings, shimmering folds of green. Her head and neck are the prow and her tail is the stern. The half boat, half dragon lies in a deep sleep, alone in the darkness of an ancient underground temple, but she is awakened by the opening of the wall. Drowsily she raises her head, arching her neck upward like that of a swan. The Queen approaches the dragon quietly, careful not to alarm her. The dragon opens her eyes, she bows her head and the Queen loops her arms around the dragon’s neck.

Hotep-Ra hangs back. He looks at his Dragon Boat, resting on the mosaic floor as if waiting for the water to rise and carry her away to distant lands. Indeed, that was what he had planned for her, to take her on the last journey of his old age. But now that his enemies have tracked him down, Hotep-Ra knows he must leave his Dragon Boat hidden safe below the ground, keeping her secrets from them. He sighs. The Dragon Boat must await the time when she will be needed by another Dragon Master. Hotep-Ra does not know who that will be, but he knows that one day he will meet him.

The Queen promises the Dragon Boat that she will return in a year to the day, but Hotep-Ra promises the Dragon Boat nothing. He pats the dragon’s nose, then turns and walks quickly from the temple. The Queen runs after him and together they watch the wall of hieroglyphs rumble closed once more.

They walk slowly along the sandy passageway, which takes them to one of the hidden exits near the edge of the island. There, Hotep-Ra pulls off his Dragon Ring. To the Queen’s amazement, he tosses the ring onto the sandy floor as if it were nothing to him. It lies on the floor, its light fading away.

“But that’s your
ring
,” whispers the Queen, shocked.

Hotep-Ra gives a weary smile. “Not anymore,” he says.

 

The Queen and the ExtraOrdinary Wizard return to the Castle, but Hotep-Ra does not leave right away. He knows he is running the risk of drawing his enemies to all that he cares about, but there are things he wishes to do in order to make the Castle and its Queen as safe as he can.

Hotep-Ra
Engenders
protected Ways to allow the Queen to visit the Dragon Boat and other places that are special to her in safety. He fills his Wizard Tower with all the
Magykal
power he can spare and sets up a system of
Questes
for the brightest and best ExtraOrdinary Apprentices. That way he believes that he will still get news of the Castle and will be able to give advice if needed. He asks the Queen to visit his beloved Dragon Boat every MidSummer Day, and deep in the Castle wall he creates a Dragon House as a place for the Dragon Boat to rest when one day it will be safe for her to come to the Castle.

But Hotep-Ra has stayed too long.

Forty-nine hours after he
Listened
to his enemies approaching, Hotep-Ra is on the Palace landing stage, saying farewell to the Queen. It is a dark and thunderous day, with a spattering of rain that mirrors the Queen’s feelings about Hotep-Ra’s departure.

Her barge lies ready to take him to the Port, where he has a ship waiting. As Hotep-Ra is about to step aboard there is a massive clap of thunder and the Queen screams. But she does not scream because of the thunder; she screams because of what she sees flying out from the black cloud overhead—two Masters of the
Darke
Arts, Warrior Wizards, Shamandrigger Saarn and Dramindonnor Naarn. The Wizards shoot down from the sky, a trail of darkness streaming from their robes, which spread out like ravens’ wings, showing their iridescent blue-green armor beneath. Like two huge birds of prey the Wizards drop down, their piercing green eyes focused on their quarry below.

BOOK: Fyre
12.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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