Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Best Books of the Year | December 10, 2014

    Mary Jo Schimelpfenig: IMG Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi of 2014



    Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.95
Used Mass Market
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z
6 Local Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

The Traveler: A Novel (Fourth Realm Trilogy #01)

by

The Traveler: A Novel (Fourth Realm Trilogy #01) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

PRELUDE

KNIGHT, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL

Maya reached out and took her fathers hand as they walked from the Underground to the light. Thorn didnt push her away or tell Maya to concentrate on the position of her body. Smiling, he guided her up a narrow staircase to a long, sloping tunnel with white tile walls. The Underground authority had installed steel bars on one side of the tunnel and this barrier made the ordinary passageway look like part of an enormous prison. If she had been traveling alone, Maya might have felt trapped and uncomfortable, but there was nothing to worry about because Father was with her.

Its the perfect day, she thought. Well, maybe it was the second most perfect day. She still remembered two years ago when Father had missed her birthday and Christmas only to show up on Boxing Day with a taxi full of presents for Maya and her mother. That morning was bright and full of surprises, but this Saturday seemed to promise a more durable happiness. Instead of the usual trip to the empty warehouse near Canary Wharf, where her father taught her how to kick and punch and use weapons, they had spent the day at the London Zoo, where he had told her different stories about each of the animals. Father had traveled all over the world and could describe Paraguay or Egypt as if he were a tour guide.

People had glanced at them as they strolled past the cages. Most Harlequins tried to blend into the crowd, but her father stood out in a group of ordinary citizens. He was German, with a strong nose, ­shoulder-­length hair, and dark blue eyes. Thorn dressed in somber colors and wore a steel kara bracelet that looked like a broken shackle.

Maya had found a battered art history book in the closet of their rented flat in East London. Near the front of the book was a picture by Albrecht Dürer called Knight, Death, and the Devil. She liked to stare at the picture even though it made her feel strange. The armored knight was like her father, calm and brave, riding through the mountains as Death held up an hourglass and the Devil followed, pretending to be a squire. Thorn also carried a sword, but his was concealed inside a metal tube with a leather shoulder strap.

Although she was proud of Thorn, he also made her feel embarrassed and ­self-­conscious. Sometimes she just wanted to be an ordinary girl with a pudgy father who worked in an office-a happy man who bought ­ice-­cream cones and told jokes about kangaroos. The world around her, with its bright fashions and pop music and television shows, was a constant temptation. She wanted to fall into that warm water and let the current pull her away. It was exhausting to be Thorns daughter, always avoiding the surveillance of the Vast Machine, always watching for enemies, always aware of the angle of attack.

Maya was twelve years old, but still wasnt strong enough to use a Harlequin sword. As a substitute, Father had taken a walking stick from the closet and given it to her before they left the flat that morning. Maya had Thorns white skin and strong features and her Sikh mothers thick black hair. Her eyes were such a pale blue that from a certain angle they looked translucent. She hated it when ­well-­meaning women approached her mother and complimented Mayas appearance. In a few years, shed be old enough to disguise herself and look as ordinary as possible.

They left the zoo and strolled through Regents Park. It was late April and young men were kicking footballs across the muddy lawn while parents pushed ­bundled-­up babies in perambulators. The whole city seemed to be out enjoying the sunshine after three days of rain. Maya and her father took the Piccadilly line to the Arsenal station; it was getting dark when they reached the ­street-­level exit. There was an Indian restaurant in Finsbury Park and Thorn had made reservations for an early supper. Maya heard noises-blaring air horns and shouting in the distance-and wondered if there was some kind of political demonstration. Then Father led her through the turnstile and out into a war.

Standing on the sidewalk, she saw a mob of people marching up Highbury Hill Road. There werent any protest signs and banners, and Maya realized that she was watching the end of a football match. The Arsenal Stadium was straight down the road and a team with blue and white colors-that was Chelsea-had just played there. The Chelsea supporters were coming out of the visitors gate on the west end of the stadium and heading down a narrow street lined with row houses. Normally it was a quick walk to the station entrance, but now the North London street had turned into a gauntlet. The police were protecting Chelsea from Arsenal football thugs who were trying to attack them and start fights.

Policemen on the edges. Blue and white in the center. Red throwing bottles and trying to break through the line. Citizens caught in front of the crowd scrambled between parked cars and knocked over rubbish bins. Flowering hawthorns grew at the edge of the curb and their pink blossoms trembled whenever someone was shoved against a tree. Petals fluttered through the air and fell upon the surging mass.

The main crowd was approaching the Tube station, about one hundred meters away. Thorn could have gone to the left and headed up Gillespie Road, but he remained on the sidewalk and studied the people surrounding them. He smiled slightly, confident of his own power and amused by the pointless violence of the drones. Along with the sword, he was carrying at least one knife and a handgun obtained from contacts in America. If he wished, he could kill a great many of these people, but this was a public confrontation and the police were in the area. Maya glanced up at her father. We should run away, she thought. These people are completely mad. But Thorn glared at his daughter as if he had just sensed her fear and Maya stayed silent.

Everyone was shouting. The voices merged into one angry roar. Maya heard a ­high-­pitched whistle. The wail of a police siren. A beer bottle sailed through the air and exploded into fragments a few feet away from where they were standing. Suddenly, a flying wedge of red shirts and scarves plowed through the police lines, and she saw men kicking and throwing punches. Blood streamed down a policemans face, but he raised his truncheon and fought back.

She squeezed Fathers hand. “Theyre coming toward us,” she said. “We need to get out of the way.”

Thorn turned around and pulled his daughter back into the entrance of the Tube station as if to find refuge there. But now the police were driving the Chelsea supporters forward like a herd of cattle and she was surrounded by men wearing blue. Caught in the crowd, Maya and her father were pushed past the ticket booth where the elderly clerk cowered behind the thick glass.

Father vaulted over the turnstile and Maya followed. Now they were back in the long tunnel, heading down to the trains. Its all right, she thought. Were safe now. Then she realized that men wearing red had forced their way into the tunnel and were running beside them. One of the men was carrying a wool sock filled with something heavy-rocks, ball bearings-and he swung it like a club at the old man just in front of her, knocking off the mans glasses and breaking his nose. A gang of Arsenal thugs slammed a Chelsea supporter against the steel bars on the left side of the tunnel. The man tried to get away as they kicked and beat him. More blood. And no police anywhere.

Thorn grabbed the back of Mayas jacket and dragged her through the fighting. A man tried to attack them and Father stopped him instantly with a quick, snapping punch to the throat. Maya hurried down the tunnel, trying to reach the stairway. Before she could react, something like a rope came over her right shoulder and across her chest. Maya looked down and saw that Thorn had just tied a blue and white Chelsea scarf around her body.

In an instant she realized that the day at the zoo, the amusing stories, and the trip to the restaurant were all part of a plan. Father had known about the football game, had probably been here before and timed their arrival. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Thorn smile and nod as if he had just told her an amusing story. Then he turned and walked away.

Maya spun around as three Arsenal supporters ran forward, yelling at her. Dont think. React. She jabbed the walking stick like a javelin and the steel tip hit the tallest mans forehead with a crack. Blood spurted from his head and he began to fall, but she was already spinning around to trip the second man with the stick. As he stumbled backward, she jumped high and kicked his face. He spun around and hit the floor. Down. Hes down. She ran forward and kicked him again.

As she regained her balance, the third man caught her from behind and lifted her off the ground. He squeezed tightly, trying to break her ribs, but Maya dropped the stick, reached back with both hands, and grabbed his ears. The man screamed as she flipped him over her shoulder and onto the floor.

Maya reached the stairway, took the stairs two at a time, and saw Father standing on the platform next to the open doors of a train. He grabbed her with his right hand and used his left to force their way into the car. The doors moved back and forth and finally closed. Arsenal supporters ran up to the train, pounding on the glass with their fists, but the train lurched forward and headed down the tunnel.

People were packed together. She heard a woman weeping as the boy in front of her pressed a handkerchief against his mouth and nose. The car went around a curve and she fell against her father, burying her face in his wool overcoat. She hated him and loved him, wanted to attack him and embrace him-all at the same time. Dont cry, she thought. Hes watching you. Harlequins dont cry. And she bit her lower lip so hard that she broke the skin and tasted her own blood.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jacob Embree, September 5, 2006 (view all comments by Jacob Embree)
I really enjoyed this book,the authors writing style is very captivating to your mind and flows smoothly from one chapter to the next. I would personally recommend this book to any person who loves a good story
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(34 of 49 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307278593
Subtitle:
Book One of the Fourth Relam Trilogy
Author:
Hawks, John Twelve
Author:
Twelve Hawks, John
Publisher:
Vintage
Subject:
Supernatural
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
Occult fiction
Subject:
California
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20060718
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
6.94x4.24x1.13 in. .52 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Dark River: A Novel (Fourth...
    Used Hardcover $8.95
  2. Anansi Boys
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  3. Accelerando
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  4. Neverwhere
    Used Mass Market $5.50
  5. Camouflage (Ace Science Fiction) Used Mass Market $3.50
  6. Long Price Quartet #01: A Shadow in...
    Used Mass Market $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary

The Traveler: A Novel (Fourth Realm Trilogy #01) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307278593 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A fearless, brilliant action heroine (think Uma Thurman in Kill Bill); a secret history of the world; a tale of brother against brother...and nonstop action as the forces of good and evil battle it out....Readers won't regret taking this wild ride."
"Review" by , "Page-turningly swift....John Twelve Hawks has drawn upon both pop-cultural and literary touchstones and modified them to create a cyber-1984."
"Review" by , "Constant action....A must-read....Will have you scratching your head wondering what is real....We may well be seeing John Twelve Hawks on the best-seller lists for years."
"Review" by , "Fast-moving....Believable....The Vast Machines seems [close] to the mark."
"Review" by , "The Traveler is an easy-reading, sun-chair munchie. And if you catch it now, you'll be ahead of the game when the sequel appears and the movie comes out."
"Review" by , "One part The Matrix and one part The Celestine Prophecy, with a faint whiff of Dune lurking in the background, this book succeeds both as a fast- paced action story and as a novel of ideas (albeit nothing too weighty). It may not have the originality of Da Vinci, but it radiates a narrative power all its own."
"Review" by , "What is remarkable about The Traveler is how well Mr. Twelve Hawks has transmuted this sociopolitical piffle into a highly effective thriller....No cheap thrills here. The sense of menace is pervasive throughout, and the characters are all well-drawn."
"Review" by , "The Traveler is without doubt a most readable mix of science fiction and political jeremiad....It recalls earlier tales, such as the Star Wars movies and George Orwell's 1984, that portray a few brave individuals challenging an evil empire..."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.