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Brandon Mull , Jeremy Bobb

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Chasing the Prophecy

logo CHAPTER 1 logo

ACOLYTE


Rachel . . . help me . . . Rachel, please!

Rachel awoke, clutching her covers. She sat up on the soft mattress. Shadows shrouded her bedchamber. The telepathic voice in her head was unfamiliar. The female speaker was not Corinne, and not Ulani, who had recently learned to transmit simple thoughts over short distances.

Who are you? Rachel conveyed with all her will.

Rachel! I can’t hang on much longer. . . . Come now . . . please hurry!

Despite the urgency behind the message, the mental outcry was fading. Rachel had worked with several of the acolytes on speaking in silence, but so far only Ulani had succeeded. Was it possible that in a desperate moment one of the girls had unlocked the ability? Rachel slept in the area of the temple set apart for the acolytes. They were all relatively near. Who else at Mianamon would be able to contact her like this?

Apart from the words in her mind, the night was still. No sounds intruded from outside her room. Mianamon was not under attack. So what was the problem?

Who is this? What’s wrong?

The words came weakly, the mental equivalent of a whisper. Kalia. Training room. I tried a strong command. Failed. I hurt all over. . . . Don’t tell the others. . . . Please help me.

Kalia. Rachel had trained with the acolytes for months. Most had only a hint of Edomic talent. None had a natural ability like Rachel, but Kalia was among the more promising. On more than one occasion Rachel had tried to teach her to speak in silence.

Hold on. I’m coming.

Speaking an Edomic word, Rachel lit a bedside candle, then rose and shrugged into her acolyte robe. Kalia must have slipped down to the training room in the night for some extra practice. She must have attempted something too ambitious and lost control of the command. Rachel knew firsthand how debilitating the consequences of a failed Edomic directive could be.

If Kalia could still find the strength to call out mentally, she probably wasn’t fatally injured. But that didn’t mean she might not feel like she was going to die.

Rachel spoke another command, igniting a clay lamp. Picking it up, she unlocked her door and stepped into the hallway.

Darkness awaited beyond her lamplight in both directions. Rachel was not accustomed to roaming the Temple of Mianamon after-hours. She and her friends had been here for the whole winter, but she had never walked these stone corridors when all was dark and empty. The familiar passage suddenly seemed ominous.

Still there, Kalia?

No response came. The acolyte could be unconscious. Or she might simply lack the energy to send another message.

Rachel passed several doors. No life could be heard behind them. No light seeped through the cracks. After rounding a corner, she reached the stairway that led down to the training room. Beyond the bubble of light from her lamp, all was silent shadow. Rachel knew that outside the section of the temple reserved for acolytes, she could find the human guards who protected their privacy at all hours. She also knew where she could find Jason, Drake, or her other companions. Or she could call out mentally to Galloran or Corinne.

But the painful experience of a failed command was best kept private. Kalia would not appreciate others seeing her in an injured, weakened state. Straightening her shoulders, Rachel started down the stairs. She arrived at the bottom and moved along a broad hallway.

The darkness retreated from her approach until Rachel reached the door to the main training room. It was slightly ajar. Rachel nudged it open and stepped inside.

“Kalia?”

A vehement Edomic command answered her inquiry. The words demanded that Rachel hold still. As requested, her muscles locked up, leaving her temporarily immobilized.

Rachel knew this command! The acolytes of Mianamon practiced an Edomic discipline that enabled them to issue directives to people. Upon her arrival at Mianamon, Rachel had known how to use Edomic to get some animals to heed certain instructions, but she had never guessed that she might be able to use similar tactics on humans.

Commanding inanimate matter with Edomic was straightforward—all matter and energy understood the language. You simply needed to accompany the proper words with enough focused willpower to demand compliance. If you tried to accomplish too much, you would fail and face a backlash of physical and psychic traumas.

With animals it was trickier. Edomic did not work well on living things. Instead of compelling animals, you had to make suggestions that they could either heed or disregard. Ask too gently and the animal would ignore the directive. Push too hard and you risked the consequences of a failed command.

Humans were even more complicated. You couldn’t really use Edomic on the mind. You couldn’t implant a complex idea. It was more like speaking to the spine, suggesting a reflexive response that the mind would counter once it caught up. Rachel now knew roughly fifty suggestions that might work on a human, most of them at the level of dog commands: stay, lie down, turn around, jump. In a moment of distress, Rachel knew, the ability to cause an enemy to temporarily freeze or flop to the ground might prove very useful.

Rachel had practiced this discipline for months. None of the acolytes could match her skill at it. For instance, most of the girls could not demand any form of compliance from Ulani, but Rachel could freeze her with a word. Conversely, even the most capable acolytes couldn’t make Rachel do much more than twitch.

Except now she couldn’t move!

The command had been uttered with power and expertise. It held her like no command had since her first day of training. Was her guard down because of fear? Sure, she was scared, but she was resisting the mandate the same way she had practiced. It just wasn’t working.

Rachel heard another muttered command. A black metal spike streaked toward her chest, gleaming in the light of her lamp.

Rachel still couldn’t move. Instead, she spoke in silence. Rachel had lots of practice moving physical objects. She telepathically ordered the spike to hold still. It stopped just over a foot from her chest, quivering in midair.

More words issued from the shadows beyond her lamplight. A robust will contended with hers, inching the spike toward her. Rachel had regained control of her body, but she didn’t want to advertise her recovery to her enemy. Instead, Rachel bore down and pushed the spike away. The will of her enemy broke, and the spike went sailing into a wall.

Rachel knew the location of many torches, cressets, and lamps in this room. With a word she illuminated several at once. The light displayed Kalia charging toward her, a knife in one hand, a long needle in the other.

Rachel commanded Kalia to fall to the floor. The acolyte obeyed, losing hold of her knife. Kalia tried to compel Rachel to freeze again. The expertly phrased directive worked for a fraction of a second, but Rachel was ready this time, and promptly reasserted control. She then countered by commanding Kalia to be still.

“What are you doing?” Rachel spat.

Kalia remained immobile for barely a second. The girl rolled over and looked up, red spittle leaking from one corner of her mouth. Rachel realized that when Kalia had lost control of the spike, the resulting failure must have injured her.

Kalia growled a command, and the knife darted at Rachel. Ducking to the side, Rachel seized control of the knife and put it to the throat of the acolyte. Holding it there took great control, but Rachel had practiced manipulating physical objects more diligently than any other Edomic discipline.

“Why?” Rachel demanded, panting.

Kalia spat blood. Sweat dampened her face. Her feral eyes were panicked and angry. Kalia was among the younger acolytes. Although she looked to be in her twenties, she was actually closer to fifty. Acolytes employed routine Edomic meditation to slow the aging process.

“Why?” Rachel repeated.

Kalia spoke a command, trying to seize control of the knife, but Rachel countered with a stern mandate, and Kalia’s effort dissolved, crushed by a superior will. Rachel angled the knife away as the acolyte doubled over, writhing in pain. The failed commands were taking a heavy toll.

“When did you get so good?” Rachel demanded. “You never moved objects.”

I never spoke in silence, either. The furious words burned in Rachel’s mind. He should have given the order earlier, before you had so much training. I could have taken you when you first arrived. I know I could have!

Who ordered this? Rachel pressed.

Use your imagination, Kalia communicated, her rage diminishing. My only solace is that he’ll get you yet. I chose the winning side. He asked too much of me at the wrong time. Bad for me. But it won’t save you. Mark my words. He’ll get you all.

You work for Maldor?

He’ll kill every last one of you!

Galloran burst into the room, his blindfold off, his torivorian sword drawn, several treefolk and human guards following in his wake. He looked from Rachel to Kalia. I sensed a great deal of Edomic in use.

Kalia jabbed the long needle into her thigh.

What have you done? Rachel asked.

Another inane question! How does such a simpleton access so much power? It’s infuriati... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

The #1 New York Times bestselling Beyonders fantasy trilogy comes to a stunning and epic conclusion.

Jason and Rachel were not born in Lyrian. They did not grow up in Lyrian. But after all of the battles and losses, the triumphs and adventures, and most of all, the friendships forged in this fantastical world, Lyrian has become home to them in a way they never could have imagined.

And so, armed now with the prophecy of a dying oracle, they have gone on their separate quests—each surrounded by brave and powerful allies—knowing that the chance for success is slim. But Jason and Rachel are ready at last to become the heroes Lyrian needs, no matter the cost.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  301 commentaires
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good series 22 mai 2013
Par Justin A Kopp - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I liked the whole series. This book especially. Closure isn't always found in stories. It was very easy to get caught up in lyrian bc of the great characters. I'll be looking for more books by this author.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 oh my god!!!!!! 19 mai 2013
Par Thomas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book was amazing i just wish there were more books in this series. I have followed this series from the beginning to the end. I wish the ending hadn't been so sad. :( but i thought it the book was well, in a huge understatement wonderful.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gah!! 19 mars 2013
Par akky3210 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I haven't written a review in a while. In fact, when I look back on my reviews, they make me want to gag because they're so badly written. But that's besides the point--I couldn't NOT write a review for this book. I just...couldn't.

I bought A World Without Heroes the very day it came out. I bought Seeds of Rebellion the very day it came out. So it should come as no surprise that I bought this book the day it came out, and finished it that day too. And now it's been a week. And I've been spinning this book and this review and this series over and over in my head, and I can't not write a review. So, without further ado--

First things first: this book is DARK. Like, freakishly dark. As in, Mull probably could've--SHOULD'VE--gotten away with making his characters more like 17 or 18 than 13. (13!?) This book was definitely more Young Adult than Middle Grade. I felt that about the first two books as well, so it should come as no surprise that this book was essentially a punch in the gut emotionally. We go into the dang book knowing that--what was the phrasing--"the road to victory is paved with the blood of heroes"? We KNOW that.

About 40% in, I got really afraid Mull wouldn't kill any of my favorite characters. I had gone into this expecting some heavy-hitting, and I truly began to fear that we'd have lots of dead drinling spear-holders, but no one who we truly CARED about. I was wrong. Yeah. Lots of characters--BELOVED characters--are going to die. :(

But it doesn't make the characters growth and death and relationships less real or painful.

And ugh, the characters--Nedwin! Ferrin! (ah, Ferrin...) Tark, Rachel (Rachel!) Jason, Galloran, Drake--Jasher--Farfalee--Aram!! They are SO real. I find myself looking back at the book, wondering where they are now--are they laughing? are they crying? whatever happened to *I can't tell you because it would ruin the ending*?

This book was SO intricately done. Not intricately plotted, but intricately done. I am incredibly impressed with how Mull brought every single thread together in order to work this conclusion. The passing mention of "These Short Lives" in the Repository of Learning? The drinlings. I can't say any more--spoilers!--but I can say I am incredibly pleased with how this tapestry came together. I loved to see how this complex web of relationships and sacrifice and love was woven. And we got four--FOUR--chapters, plus a prologue, from Nedwin's POV, which had me LITERALLY doing a jig in my bedroom (not a good sight, I assure you)

And I think that what hit home about this book, to me personally--the power of LOVE against evil. The power of loyalty and honor getting us through the most difficult places (I'm lookin' at you, Nedwin!). The power of hope, and sacrifice, and belief in what seems the remotest chances, and...just...AGH! The emotions in this book are SO REAL, the grief is dealt with SO WELL, the conflicts are SO VITAL...

And the way the quests finally weave together--the influence they have on each other--the secret we discover at the end is so real and beautiful and PERFECT and unexpected and how-on-earth-did-I-miss-that and surprising and just...I couldn't stop laughing. I was truly afraid that whatever Jason set off to discover would be stupid or pointless or--worse--some random tidbit of information that totally turned the tide of the war with no PAIN behind it. Well, it was kind of that last one. I think readers will have a love-hate relationship with it, but it was still perfect.

I do have some complaints, of course. I feel like the ending was a bit abrupt, and I wish we had more of Jason's POV at the very end then we did, since he was the protagonist of the first novel. (I have my own opinions about the protagonists of the 2nd book and this one, but that's for some other time.) I felt that Jason's quest was never really concluded, even though we got what we were looking for. And I felt a little down about the way it finally, finally ended, though this epilogue was truly brilliant.

And that leads to my final question, dear readers-who-have-dug-through-my-awful-review. Is this story a tragedy?

I don't know.

Yes, good ultimately wins (because it's fantasy, after all, and if that's a spoiler to you then you need to read a different review (and I mean that as a jest)). Yes, evil is vanquished. BUT... at a cost. A tragic, beautiful cost.

And is this novel, this saga, a tragedy?

I still don't know. But it IS--I assure you--definitely, DEFINITELY worth picking up. Fablehaven is...nothing...compared to this. This, I think, is literature.

This is literature.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very high quality fantasy 8 avril 2013
Par Chad - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I'll start with the cons (not too much). The Beyonders series is not quite Fablehaven, but it is very good nonetheless. The characters in Fablehaven are much more stronger than the characters in Beyonders. There is a ridiculous amount of characters in the Beyonders series, and most of them don't have much of a personality, especially Jason and Rachel. They aren't strong main characters, but the large pool of secondary characters make up for them. Also, as is standard with medieval fantasies, the characters talk in a more sophisticated manner than in other books. This shows quality writing to me, but I guess it can seem a little overboard sometimes.

I think this is one of the best books I've read in awhile. I almost completely forgot what has happened in the previous two books... Yet it didn't matter. The story is very gripping, and Brandon Mull has created an entire universe comparable to Lord of the Rings. The plot isn't necessarily original, but that doesn't matter. Brandon Mull has plenty of creativity and action in this series. Brandon Mull's writing is very high quality, this series is highly suggested.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Our favorite author does it again! 16 septembre 2014
Par Seattle Mom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Our family devoured the Fablehaven books and the Candy Shop Wars. We are consistently amazed by the fabulous characters and stories developed by Brandon Mull. The Beyonders series was amazing. My husband was so into the book that he stayed up late after we were all asleep to finish it. The twists and turns will have you on the edge of your seats. We recommend this (and any Brandon Mull book) to anyone. Our kids range in age from 5-14 (two boys, three girls) and every one of us is a huge fan. I wish I could give this more than 5 stars! Keep up the great writing!
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