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A Clash of Kings

by

A Clash of Kings Cover

 

 

Excerpt

ARYA

At Winterfell they had called her "Arya Horseface" and she'd thought  nothing could be worse, but that was before the orphan boy Lommy Greenhands had  named her "Lumpyhead."

     Her head felt lumpy when she touched it. When Yoren had dragged her  into that alley she'd thought he meant to kill her, but the sour old man had

only held her tight, sawing through her mats and tangles with his dagger. She  remembered how the breeze sent the fistfuls of dirty brown hair skittering  across the paving stones, toward the sept where her father had died. "I'm  taking men and boys from the city," Yoren growled as the sharp steel scraped

at her head. "Now you hold still, boy." By the time he had  finished, her scalp was nothing but tufts and stubble.

     Afterward he told her that from there to Winterfell she'd be Arry the  orphan boy. "Gate shouldn't be hard, but the road's another matter. You got a  long way to go in bad company. I got thirty this time, men and boys all bound  for the Wall, and don't be thinking they're like that bastard brother o'  yours." He shook her. "Lord Eddard gave me pick o' the dungeons, and I didn't  find no little lordlings down there. This lot, half o' them would turn you over  to the queen quick as spit for a pardon and maybe a few silvers. The other  half'd do the same, only they'd rape you first. So you keep to yourself and  make your water in the woods,alone. That'll be the hardest part, the pissing, so don't drink no more'n you  need."

     Leaving King's Landing was easy, just like he'd said. The Lannister guardsmen on the gate were stopping everyone, but Yoren called one by name and their wagons were waved through. No one spared Arya a glance. They were looking for a highborn girl, daughter of the King's Hand, not for a skinny boy with his hair chopped off. Arya never looked back. She wished the Rush would rise and wash the whole city away, Flea Bottom and the Red Keep and the Great Sept and  everything, and everyone too, especially Prince Joffrey and  his mother. But she knew it wouldn't, and anyhow Sansa was still in the city

and would wash away too. When she remembered that, Arya decided to wish for  Winterfell instead.

     Yoren was wrong about the pissing, though. That wasn't the hardest part at all; Lommy Greenhands and Hot Pie were the hardest part. Orphan boys. Yoren had  plucked some from the streets with promises of food for their bellies and shoes  for their feet. The rest he'd found in chains. "The Watch needs good men," he  told them as they set out, "but you lot will have to do."

     Yoren had taken grown men from the dungeons as well, thieves and poachers and rapers and the like. The worst were the three he'd found in the black cells who must have scared even him, because he kept them fettered hand and foot in the back of a wagon, and vowed they'd stay in irons all the way to the Wall. One  had no nose, only the hole in his face where it had been cut off, and the gross  fat bald one with the pointed teeth and theweeping sores on his cheeks had eyes like nothing human.

     They took five wagons out of King's Landing, laden with supplies for the Wall: hides and bolts of cloth, bars of pig iron, a cage of ravens, books and paper and ink, a bale of sourleaf, jars of oil, and chests of medicine and spices. Teams of plow horses pulled the wagons, and Yoren had bought two coursers and a half-dozen donkeys for the boys. Arya would have preferred a real horse, but the donkey was better than riding on a wagon.

     The men paid her no mind, but she was not so lucky with the boys. She was two years younger than the youngest orphan, not to mention smaller and skinnier,  and Lommy and Hot Pie took her silence to mean she was scared, or stupid, or

deaf. "Look at that sword Lumpyhead's got there," Lommy said one morning as  they made their plodding way past orchards and wheat fields. He'd been a dyer's  apprentice before he was caught stealing, and his arms were mottled green to

the elbow. When he laughed he brayed like the donkeys they were riding.  "Where's a gutter rat like Lumpyhead get him a sword?"

     Arya chewed her lip sullenly. She could see the back of Yoren's faded black  cloak up ahead of the wagons, but she was determined not to go crying to him

for help.

     "Maybe he's a little squire," Hot Pie put in. His mother had been a baker  before she died, and he'd pushed her cart through the streets all day, shouting  "Hot pies! Hot pies!" "Some lordy lord's little squire boy, that's  it."

     "He ain't no squire, look at him. I bet that's not even areal sword. I bet it's just some play sword made of tin."

     Arya hated them making fun of Needle. "It's castle-forged steel, you stupid," she snapped, turning in the saddle to glare at them, "and you better shut your mouth."

     The orphan boys hooted. "Where'd you get a blade like that, Lumpyface?" Hot  Pie wanted to know.

     "Lumpyhead," corrected Lommy. "He prob'ly stole it."

     "I did not!" she shouted. Jon Snow had given her Needle. Maybe she  had to let them call her Lumpyhead, but she wasn't going to let them call Jon a  thief.

     "If he stole it, we could take it off him," said Hot Pie. "It's not his

anyhow. I could use me a sword like that."

     Lommy egged him on. "Go on, take it off him, I dare you."

     Hot Pie kicked his donkey, riding closer. "Hey, Lumpyface, you gimme that  sword." His hair was the color of straw, his fat face all sunburnt and  peeling. "You don't know how to use it."

     Yes I do, Arya could have said. I killed a boy, a fat boy like  you, I stabbed him in the belly and he died, and I'll kill you too if you don't  let me alone. Only she did not dare. Yoren didn't know about the  stableboy, but she was afraid of what he might do if he found out. Arya was  pretty sure that some of the other men were killers too, the three in the  manacles for sure, but the queen wasn't looking for them, so it  wasn't the same.

     "Look at him," brayed Lommy Greenhands. "I bet he's going to cry now. You  want to cry, Lumpyhead?"

     She had cried in her sleep the night before, dreaming of herfather. Come morning, she'd woken red-eyed and dry, and could not have shed  another tear if her life had hung on it.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307987648
Author:
Martin, George R. R.
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Author:
Dotrice, Roy
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;a song of ice and fire;epic;epic fantasy;dragons;war;novel;high fantasy;politics;magic;medieval;adventure;intrigue;american;game of thrones;knights;kings;sf;sff;martin;science fiction;george r. r. martin;grrm;adult;1990s;wolves;20th centur
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;a song of ice and fire;epic;epic fantasy;dragons;war;novel;high fantasy;politics;magic;medieval;adventure;intrigue;american;game of thrones;knights;kings;sf;sff;martin;science fiction;george r. r. martin;grrm;adult;1990s;wolves;20th centur
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;a song of ice and fire;epic;epic fantasy;dragons;war;novel;high fantasy;politics;magic;medieval;adventure;intrigue;knights;american;kings;sf;sff;martin;science fiction;game of thrones;george r. r. martin;grrm;1990s;fantasy fiction;wolves;2
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;a song of ice and fire;epic;epic fantasy;dragons;war;novel;high fantasy;politics;magic;medieval;adventure;intrigue;knights;american;kings;sf;sff;martin;science fiction;game of thrones;george r. r. martin;grrm;1990s;fantasy fiction;wolves;2
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;a song of ice and fire;epic;epic fantasy;dragons;war;novel;high fantasy;politics;magic;medieval;adventure;intrigue;game of thrones;american;knights;kings;sf;martin;sff;science fiction;george r. r. martin;grrm;20th century;1990s;fantasy fic
Subject:
dragons;dark fantasy;epic fantasy;sword and sorcery;magic users;science fiction and fantasy;adventure fantasy;gritty fantasy;action and adventure
Edition Description:
Thirty CD
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
COMPACT DISC
Language:
English
Dimensions:
5.9 x 5.1 x 2.6 in 1.675 lb

Related Subjects

Audio Books » Fiction and Poetry » General
Audio Books » Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic

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