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    Flying Shoes

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1 Local Warehouse Children's Young Adult- General

Other titles in the Aliane series:

Trickster's Choice

by

Trickster's Choice Cover

ISBN13: 9780375828799
ISBN10: 0375828796
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Nawat stood against the wall, relaxed and alert. Before him two men-at-arms were preparing to shoot. Dove stood behind one archer with a handful of arrows, while the duchess held arrows for the second archer. Alys mind told her that the duchess would hardly consent to murder just as the first man shot. The second man shot immediately after him. Then both set fresh arrows to the string and shot steadily, arrow after arrow, one at a time, until they had exhausted all the extras held by the duchess and her stepdaughter.

Nawat caught them all with grace and ease, snatching the arrows from the air as if he had all day to do so. When the archers finished, he gathered the heap of arrows at his feet and carried them back to their owners.

Hes so fast, Aly thought in awe. I couldnt do it, and Im no slouch! She sighed, wishing Da were here to see it. Hed taught her to catch daggers in midair, but this game was much more hazardous.

The game was not done. The men-at-arms repeated the experiment with javelins, then hunting and combat spears. Nawat caught them all, moving so fast Aly couldnt follow his hands. She cheered him and the men-at-arms on.

When the bell rang to remind the household it was nearly time for supper, he looked up at the applauding Aly and waved. “This is my favorite game,” he called to her. “Do you want to play?”

“I wouldnt dare!” she cried, laughing, before she retreated into the room. Shed seen men catch knives before. She had seen the finest archers in the Queens Riders draw an outline in arrows of someone positioned against a wooden fence or wall, just to show they could do it. She had never seen anything like this.

Sarai and Dove ran in. Sarai smiled at Aly. “You should have seen your face! Did you know he could do that?” she asked as she collapsed on her bed.

Dove unstrung her bow, shaking her head. “Hes amazing,” she said, coiling her bowstring.

“You know, maybe this horrible old place isnt so bad,” Sarai told the ceiling. “Not if these wonderful men keep showing up.”

Aly raised an eyebrow at her. “I wouldnt try kissing him,” she warned. “It wouldnt be what you expect.”

Sarai wrinkled her nose. “Aly!” she complained. “I found out he eats bugs! Im not kissing a man with bug breath!”

Aly blinked. I dont remember him tasting of bugs when he kissed me, she thought. Id better pay more attention next time.

Her mind promptly reined her up. This was highly improper. There would be no next time. Her task was looking after the Balitang children, not mooning over someone, particularly not a crow turned man.

Even if he could pluck arrows from the air.

The next morning Aly, still on a goatherds hours, walked out of the keep into the dawn. The sun had just cleared the walls to light the inner courtyard and the young man who straddled a bench there. Aly stopped to watch him carefully glue pieces of feather onto the wooden shaft.

Nawat looked up at her with a smile that lit his eyes. “You are beautiful in the new light,” he told her. “If I were the Dawn Crow, I would bring you the sun to hatch as our first nestling.”

Aly blinked at him. Her heart felt strangely squeezed by some powerful emotion. She bit her lip to distract herself from a feeling that made her horribly unsure. “Have you been kissing anybody?” she asked without meaning to, and gasped. She had let words out of her mouth without thinking, which was not like her! Worse, they were such personal words, ones he might feel meant personal feelings she did not have! This was the kind of thing that other girls said, those girls who were not bored by all the young men who had courted them. How many handsome fellows had sighed compliments to Aly while, unconcerned, she had mentally wrestled with breaking a new code? At home she never cared about her suitors enough to worry if they kissed other girls. She scrambled to blot out what shed said. “Not that its any of my business, but you should understand, people have a way of kissing for fun, without it meaning anything serious, and Id hate for you to think someone wanted you to mate-feed them just because theyre kissing—” Stop babbling, her mind ordered. Aly stopped.

Nawats smile broadened. That disturbing light in his eyes deepened. “I have kissed no one but you, Aly,” he assured her, serious. “Why should I kiss anyone else?”

Aly gulped. You can continue this conversation, or you can talk about something less . . . giddy, she told herself. Less frightening. “You know I wont always be around,” she said abruptly. “I dont belong here, really.”

“Then I will go with you,” Nawat said. “I belong with you.”

He doesnt know what hes saying, Aly told herself. He doesnt know what that means.

She looked at him, arms folded, trying to keep any extra feelings from leaping out. “What are you doing?” she asked, to change the subject to anything less dangerous. Then she grimaced. He was fletching arrows, as always.

She glanced at his bench, then bent down. He was fletching, but these arrows were heavier, and the feathers he used were not bird feathers, but Stormwing. “How did you cut them up?” she wanted to know, genuinely curious. More scraps of cut-up steel feathers lay on the bench.

Nawat pointed to a long piece of what looked like black, chipped glass. “Shiny volcano rock,” he told Aly. “Chip the edge until it is sharp. That cuts Stormwing feathers. They come from the heat of the place where Stormwings were born.”

Aly touched the glassy blade. “Obsidian,” she said. “Thats its name.”

“Yes,” Nawat replied. “Shiny volcano rock.” He set a length of steel feather into a thin groove filled with glue and held it in place.

Aly didnt see a single cut on his hands, though the feathers were lethally sharp. “Wont they be too heavy for the glue?” she asked.

“I shaped the glue. It holds Stormwing feathers,” Nawat answered.

“Stormwings really are born in volcanoes?” Aly inquired, curious.

“In the beginning time, when they were first dreamed,” replied Nawat, setting another piece of steel feather in its slot. “Now, if carrying an egg does not kill the mother, they are born from steel eggs.” He looked at Aly and sighed, his dark eyes wistful. “The eggs are too heavy for a crow to take.”

“Youve already taken enough from Stormwings,” Aly told him, pointing to the small pile of glinting feathers beside his bench. “You could have been killed.”

“There is a trick to it,” he replied, and blew lightly on his fletchings. Holding the arrow shaft before one eye, he squinted down its length. “Perfect,” he declared, and set the arrow down.

“It seems like a lot of trouble and risk when goose feathers are safer to work with,” Aly remarked. “What is a Stormwing-fletched arrow for, anyway?”

“They are mage killers,” replied Nawat. “No matter if the mage is powerful, if he has great spells to protect him. A Stormwing arrow will cut through illusion and magic.”

Aly whistled softly, impressed. “Take very good care of those, then,” she told Nawat. “We might find a use for them.”

“I made them for you,” Nawat said, giving her that radiant, innocent smile. “They are yours, for a day when they will help you.” He offered a finished arrow shaft to her.

Aly smiled at him despite the goose bumps that rippled along her skin. “Keep them until theyre needed, please,” she told him. “My archery skills arent very good.”

“You could practice,” Nawat pointed out.

“Im a slave,” Aly explained. “Slaves who are caught with weapons are killed.”

“Then do not be a slave,” he said matter-of-factly. “Fly free.”

“Not just yet,” she replied. “Ill see the summer out first.”

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

elainareads, January 16, 2008 (view all comments by elainareads)
I just recently completeed this book. It was absolutely amazing I couldnt put it down. Anyone who likes fanatsy books will love this book. The adventure and action in this book was great. I would encourage everyone who like fantasy, adventure, magical place, and much more to read this book.
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(7 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
pandora, February 15, 2007 (view all comments by pandora)
One of the best adventure stories ever! Fans of harry potter will appreciate the fast pacing and detailed characters but this outstanding tale of duty and revolution holds a special place in my heart because "Aly Homewood" continues Tamora Pierce's tradition of strong heroines with a twist. Alanna's daughter has the strength and skills of her parents but is learning to build her own place in the world adding nuance and challenges many of us face growning up to a fabulous tale. Young adult novels will never be the same!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375828799
Author:
Pierce, Tamora
Publisher:
Random House (NY)
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Trickster's Duet
Publication Date:
20040931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.23 x 5.6 x 1.2 in 1.07 lb
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Oregon Battle of the Books
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Young Adult » General

Trickster's Choice Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Random House Books for Young Readers - English 9780375828799 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pierce fans will flock to welcome back the star of her first novel, Alanna: The First Adventure, this time in a supporting rolethe main focus here is her daughter, 16-year-old slacker Aly (short for Alianne). While Alanna fights a bitter war with Scanra in the North, Aly stays at home, trying to figure out what to do with her life, and how to emerge from her mother's shadow. Impulsively, she takes a boat ride, and is snatched by slave traders ignorant of her identity. Aly ends up in the household of a family that has fallen out of favor with the vicious King Oron, who sends them into exile while demanding most of their wealth. Meanwhile, Aly is approached by a 'local sea god, among other things,' as Kyprioth (the trickster of the title) introduces himself. He sets her a wager: keep the family's children safe for the next three months, and she will be returned home — plus Kyprioth will convince her father to let her become a spy (an idea to which both her parents are vehemently opposed). If she fails, she must act as Kyprioth's servant for one year. Pierce luxuriates in her setting, moving the action along at a pace that might seem sluggish to some, but will be just right to her legion of devotees. As with her other books, this one is densely political, rife with cultural background and sprawling character trees. The climax is worth the wait, and ably sets up a framework for future adventures of this very likable new heroine. Ages 10-13. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The new Tortall page-turner will delight existing fans and create many more....A ripping good yarn that introduces a new series."
"Synopsis" by , Now available in paperback--the novel that introduced Alianne, the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall. Young Aly follows in the quieter footsteps of her father, however, delighting in the art of spying.
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