Authors: Michael Scott
ALSO BY MICHAEL SCOTT
This is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some well-known historical and public figures, are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Where real-life historical or public figures appear, the situations, incidents, and dialogues concerning those persons are fictional and are not intended to depict actual events or to change the fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2009 by Michael Scott
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The sorceress / Michael Scott.—1st ed.
p. cm.—(Secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel)
Summary: While armies of the Shadowrealms gather and Machiavelli goes to Alcatraz to kill Perenelle Flamel, fifteen-year-old twins Sophie and Josh Newman accompany the Alchemyst to England to seek Gilgamesh.
1. Flamel, Nicolas, d. 1418—Juvenile fiction. 2. Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527—Juvenile fiction. 3. Dee, John, 1527-1608—Juvenile fiction. [1. Flamel, Nicolas, d. 1418—Fiction. 2. Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527—Fiction. 3. Dee, John, 1527-1608—Fiction. 4. Alchemists—Fiction. 5. Magic—Fiction. 6. Supernatural—Fiction. 7. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 8. Twins—Fiction. 9. England—Fiction. 10. Alcatraz Island (Calif.)—Fiction.] I. Title.
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I am tired now, so tired.
And I am aging fast. There is a stiffness in my joints, my sight is no longer sharp and I find I have to strain to hear. Over the past five days I have been forced to use my powers more times than I have used them in the entire previous century, and that has speeded up the aging process significantly. I estimate that I have aged by at least a decade—perhaps more—since last Thursday. If I am to live, I have to retrieve the Book of Abraham, and I cannot—I
not—risk using my powers again.
But Dee has the Codex, and I know that I will be forced yet again to use my waning aura.
I must, if we are to survive.
Every time I use it I grow closer to death … and once I die, and Perenelle, too, no one will stand against Dee and the Dark Elders. When we die, the world will end.
But we are not dead yet.
And we have the twins. The real twins this time, the true twins of legend with auras of pure gold and silver. While the twins survive, there is still hope.
We are about to enter London. I fear this city above all others, for it is at the very heart of Dee’s power. The last time Perenelle and I were here, in September 1666, the Magician almost burned the city to the ground trying to capture us.
never been back. London has attracted Elders from around the globe: there are more of them in this city than in any other on earth. Elders, Next Generation and immortal humans move freely and unnoticed through the streets, and I know of at least a dozen Shadowrealms scattered across the British Isles.
More ley lines meet and converge over these Celtic lands than over any other country, and I pray that with the twins’
Awakened powers, we can use those lines to return to San Francisco and my Perenelle.
And here too is Gilgamesh the King, the oldest immortal human in the world. His knowledge is incalculable and encyclopedic. It is said that he was once the Guardian of the Codex, that he even knew the mythical Abraham who created the book. Legend has it that Gilgamesh knows all the elemental magics—though, strangely, he has never possessed the power to use them. The king has no aura. I’ve often wondered what that must be like: to be aware of so many incredible things, to have access to the wisdom of the ancients, to know the words and spells that could return this world to the paradise it once was … and yet to be unable to use them.
I have told Sophie and Josh that I need Gilgamesh to train them in the Magic of Water and find us a ley line that will take us home. But they do not know that it is a desperate gamble; if the king refuses, then we will be trapped in Dee’s domain, with no possibility of escape.
Nor have I told them that Gilgamesh is quite, quite insane … and that the last time we met, he thought I was trying to kill him.
From the Day Booke of Nicholas Flamel, Alchemyst
Writ this day, Monday, 4th June,
in London, the city of my enemies
think I see them.”
The young man in the green parka standing directly beneath the huge circular clock in St. Pancras station took the phone away from his ear and checked a blurred jpeg on the rectangular screen. The English Magician had sent the image a couple of hours ago: date-stamped June 04, 11.59.00, its colors washed and faded, the grainy picture looked like it had been taken by an overhead security camera. It showed an older man with short gray hair, accompanied by two fair teens, climbing onto a train.
Rising up on his toes, the young man scanned the station for the trio he’d briefly glimpsed. For a moment he thought he’d lost them in the milling crowd, but even if he had, they wouldn’t get far; one of his sisters was downstairs, and another was on the street outside, watching the entrance.
Now, where had the old man and the teenagers gone?
Narrow pinched nostrils flared as he sorted through the countless scents in the station. He identified and dismissed the mixed stink of too many humani, the myriad perfumes and deodorants, the gels and pastes, the greasy odor of fried food from the station’s restaurants, the richer aroma of coffee, and the metallic oily tang of the train engines and carriages. Nostrils opened unnaturally wide as he closed his eyes and tilted his head back. The odors he was seeking were older, wilder, unnatural ….