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Tales of the Otherworld [Format Kindle]

Kelley Armstrong
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Aaron stumbled from the tavern and gasped as the first blast of cold air slapped him. He paused in the doorway and took a deep breath. Geoffrey jostled him from behind, and Aaron gave him a good-natured shoulder that sent his friend staggering back.  

"Move it, you big ox," John said, kneeing Aaron in the rear. 

  "Just push me out of the way." Aaron shot a grin over his shoulder. "Or maybe you should squeeze past instead. You're skinny enough."

   Aaron stepped onto the cobblestone street and grimaced. So much for fresh air. The narrow street stank of shit--horse shit, dog shit, human shit; that's what came of living so close you couldn't take a crap without piling it on someone else's. Give himfarm life any day. Plenty of shit there, too, but at least there was room to spread it around.   He squinted up and down the street, his ale-soaked brain struggling to remember which way they'd come. That was another problem with towns. You couldn't see a damn thing. The buildings not only crowded your view, they crowded out the moonlight, and thelanterns dotting the street added more smoke than light.  

"Inn's this way," Geoffrey said, smacking Aaron's arm. "Come on before the mistress locks the door."  

She had locked them out the last time, and it had been a long, cold night on the street. Aaron and Geoffrey came to the city every other month, bringing goods to market. They'd finished their work this morning, but their families didn't expect them backuntil Sunday night, knowing that any young man who stayed home to help his parents on the farm deserved time to sample the cosmopolitan treats he was forgoing.  

One of those "treats" peered out from a side street as they passed. She met Aaron's gaze and batted her lashes in what he supposed was meant to be a come-hither look, but seemed more like soot caught in her eyes. She couldn't have been more than twelve,the bodice of her dirty dress stuffed to simulate the curves she wouldn't see for another few years . . . if she lived that long.  

Aaron walked over, and pressed a few coins into the whore's palm. A look--part relief, part trepidation--sparked in her eyes, then they clouded with confusion as he returned to his friends.  

John bumped against him. "How drunk are you? You forgot to take what you paid for." 

  "Oh, Aaron never has to pay for it," Geoffrey said. "When a tart sees him coming, she closes her purse and opens her legs."  

"If you don't want it, I'll take it."  

John started to turn, but Aaron grabbed his shoulders and steered him forward.  

"What?" John grumbled. "It's paid for."  

As they stumbled past an alley, a whimper snaked out from the darkness, followed by the crack of a fist hitting flesh.   Aaron stopped.  

"Ya gotta have more than that," a voice rumbled. "Find it . . . or I will."  

"Aaron . . ." Geoffrey said, plucking Aaron's sleeve. "It's none of your business. And, for once, let's leave it that way, or we'll spend another night on the street."  

Aaron brushed his friend off and strode into the alley. As he walked, his steps steadied, the effects of the ale sloughing off as he focused on the voices. He pulled himself up to his full height and peeled off his jacket. That was often enough--towerover the thug and flex his muscles, and most decided they really didn't need that few pence tonight after all. As he approached the black-haired lout and quaking shopkeeper, his gaze went to the ruffian's hands, looking for a weapon. Nothing. Good.  

Aaron grabbed the man's shoulder. "You want to rob someone? Try me."  

The lout's hand slammed forward. A flash of metal. Where had that come--?  

The blade drove into his chest. Aaron shoved the man away and staggered back. His hands went to his chest. Blood pumped out over his fingers. The man came at him again, but the sound of running footsteps made him think better of it and he ran off intothe darkness.  

"Aaron? Aaron!"  

Aaron tried to take a step, but faltered and hit the wall. He stood there, knees locked, forcing himself to stay upright. Then he crumpled.    

Aaron twisted in his bed. The damned thing dug into both of his shoulders and butted against the top of his head and bottoms of his feet. Inns. Cram as many people into a room as they can, and if you're more than average height, well, that's not the inn'sfault. 

  Eyes still closed, he took a deep breath. Flowers and a faint musty smell. The mistress probably set out fresh blooms to cover the stink, so she wouldn't have to change the bedding more than once a month. 

  He should open his eyes. He knew that--but he also knew that first blare of morning sun was going to feel like Satan's imps stabbing his eyes with pitchforks. He shouldn't drink so much. He wasn't used to it, and he paid for his folly every morning after.

 Speaking of folly . . . He let out a groan as he remembered the man in the alley. Next time he decided to rescue someone, he'd take an extra moment to make damned sure the lout wasn't concealing a knife. Now he really didn't want to get up. He'd been stabbedin the chest once before, and it had taken him weeks to recover.  

The last time, he'd been unable to lift anything heavier than a piglet for a month. His father had to do all the chores, and he'd kept sighing and muttering "Aaron, Aaron, Aaron," his weathered face wrinkling. But he kept his gaze down when he said it,to cover the pride in his eyes.  

"A big strong boy with a good heart," he'd boast to the neighbors when he thought Aaron couldn't hear. "What more could a father want?"  

"God gave you strength," his mother always said. "Always remember that it's a gift, and gifts from God are to be used in his service. Help those less fortunate than you, and you'll please him." 

  Helping others, though, did not mean getting stabbed and being unable to help his father. His mother would be very firm about that.  

"Be careful, Aaron," she'd say. "You're too quick to act. Take a moment to think as well."  

Maybe he could persuade one of his brothers to come back home for a month and help. Even as the thought occurred, though, he dismissed it. They had their own families and jobs and farms. He was the only one left. His father relied on him.  

He groaned again.  

Enough of that. Time to grit his teeth and get up.  

He pulled up his knees and they struck something with a hollow thwack. He opened one eye. The wavering glow of candlelight cast a dim glow in the dark room. Was it still night?   He reached sideways to brace himself as he sat up, and his hand smacked against wood. A bed with sides on it? Had Geoffrey and the others dumped him in a horse trough again?  

He opened the other eye. Then, grabbing the sides, he heaved himself up, bracing for the throb of pain through his chest. It didn't come.   Had he dreamed the stabbing? His fingers moved to his chest. It felt fine . . . fine and whole. That damned cheap ale was giving him nightmares now. 

  He sat up and blinked. He was in a dark, empty room, lit only by a few candles. It looked vaguely familiar. There was a board across his boxlike bed, pushed sideways away from his head and chest; that's what he'd hit his knees on. A black-robed figuresat near his feet, head bent forward in sleep.   Aaron rubbed his eyes. Where the hell was he? It looked familiar. Then he blinked as the memory clicked. It looked like the inside of the family mausoleum. Well, not really a mausoleum; it was made of rough-hewn wood. A mausoleum for a farmer's familywas ridiculous, as every neighbor had at some point whispered to another. But that was the condition of marriage his mother had made.   "My children must be buried aboveground," she'd told his father. "It is our way."  

His father hadn't argued. Who knew what her ways were? She was a Jew and a foreigner, and all he knew was that this beautiful young woman he'd met in London was willing to marry a forty-year-old bachelor and bear his sons. She could have said she wantedhim to build her a tower to the moon, and he'd have done it.

   As for why Aaron was waking up in the mausoleum . . . well, obviously the ale was giving him nightmares. Damn. He'd really hoped the stabbing part of his evening had been the dream, not the waking. 

  He went to lie back down when his knees knocked the board again, this time sending it clattering to the floor. The figure in the chair jumped up, her hood falling back, and he saw a dark-haired woman, gracefully sliding into middle age--his mother.  


She rushed to him, hands grabbing his shoulders, fingers digging in. Her face loomed over his--blotchy with tears, eyes swollen, hair bedraggled.  

"Say something," she whispered. "Please."  

"I drank too much. Again."   Her arms flew around him, head going to his chest, burrowing in, shoulders convulsing in a silent sob.  

"I prayed it would be you," she whispered. "I know it's not right for a mother to have favorites, but I always hoped that if God chose one of my children for the blessing, I hoped it would be you. And then after . . ." She hiccuped a sob. "I prayed, Aaron.I prayed you'd be the one."  

"What one?" He pulled back to look at her. "I really think I drank too much. Maybe if I go back to sleep--"  

He tried to lie down, but her fingers dug into his shoulders.  

"No! There's no time. Your father wants to seal the coffin. It's been three days. It must be sealed."  

"Seal? Coffin?"...

Revue de presse

“Fans and newcomers alike will relish Kelley Armstrong’s eerie tales.” —The Globe and Mail
“Armstrong’s longtime fans . . . will be delighted.” —Publishers Weekly
 “Terrific . . . a superb compilation.”—Midwest Book Review

From the Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Kelley Armstrong (née en 1968) est canadienne. Elle a publié sept romans à ce jour, tous situés dans l'univers de Morsure, qui remportent un succès étourdissant aux Etats-Unis et en Grande-Bretagne. Son œuvre se place dans la lignée d'Anne Rice et Laurell K. Hamilton. Découvrez l'imagination stupéfiante de la nouvelle reine du frisson.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A découvir 10 décembre 2012
Par Simonnet
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Mon "roman" préféré est celui où Clayton et Elena se rencontrent. On découvre un nouveau Clayton peu sûr de lui, attendrie par Elena et faisant tout pour qu'elle reste avec lui (y compris la morde). Mais il y aussi des anecdotes sur le mariage de Paige et Lucas ou une enquête melant Sean, le demi-frère de Savanah.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Génial ! 10 mai 2010
Très bonnes histoires plus ou moins courtes nous permettant d'y voir encore plus clair dans cet univers !
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  64 commentaires
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 More Stories About Characters We Love 14 avril 2010
Par AgaGreene - Publié sur Amazon.com
I must first say that I am a great fan of Kelley Armstong, I love her characters, her plots, and her writing style. With Tales of the Otherworld, like her previous anthology for charity, Men of the Otherworld, Armstrong is giving her readers more glimpses into the lives of characters we love from her series. This anthology includes: Rebirth (the story of how Aaron became a vampire), Bewitched (the story of how Eve and Kristof Nast got together), Birthright (about how Logan discovered his werewolf ancestry), Beginnings (how Elena and Clay got together), Expectations (a story of an early investigation by Lucas), Ghosts (this takes place during Bitten, when Jeremy sends Elena and Clay to Toronto and is left at Stonehaven), Wedding Bell Hell (Paige and Lucas's wedding), and The Case of El Chupacabra (a case Lucas and Paige investigate at the behest of Sean Nast). Some of these stories Armstrong had posted on her website for fan consumption, but I had not read Bewitched or The Case of El Chupacabra before, which makes me pretty sure they're brand new. Even though I had read the others before, when I got the book I reread them all and enjoyed it immensely!
Many of the details in these stories have been referenced in the novels, and these fill in the gaps in reader knowledge. Rebirth was my least favourite, that not to say I didn't like it, but I was not as intrigued as I was by the others. Cassandra and Aaron are great characters, but I liked them more in El Chupacabra than I do in this story. Bewitched made me like Eve more than I have in Haunted and Angelic, and will make everyone sad we didn't get to see Kristof more before he died. Birthright was a sad one, simply because we know how little time Logan had with the Pack, but I loved seeing Clay and Jeremy from an outsider's perspective. Beginnings is wonderful, I loved reading about Clay and Elena's early relationship. We are given chapters in both of their perspectives, so that the readers have a very good understanding of what is going through their minds. Expectations was fun, the reader meets Lucas a few years before he is introduced in Dime Store Magic. He meets (or encounters) Eve, which is referenced in DSM. He is such a likeable character, and this story just furthers that. Ghosts was quite sad, and made me like Jeremy even more. It also gives more information about what happened to Elena when she escaped soon after Clay bit her. Wedding Bell Hell was fun to read and had almost all of the characters (well, the likeable ones) from the novels. Lucas's mother is introduced and she is a lovely character of whom I would like to see more. The Case of El Chupacabra deals with Sean Nast coming to terms with his homosexuality (and really makes me hope he pops up in Savannah's books) and also explains how Paige and Lucas came to own their office, which is first introduced in No Humans Involved.
I would recommend Tales to any fan of the series, it's quick to read and you're guaranteed to enjoy it! Plus, all the proceeds go to charity, how could it get better?
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Backstory on the Women of the Otherworld Characters 4 mai 2010
Par Barbara Pringle - Publié sur Amazon.com
I love the Women of the Otherworld series and this is an excellent addition to the mix.

When Armstrong began her career, she wanted to do something to thank her readers so she put free fiction on her website. Readers loved it but they asked her "When will they be in a book?" Armstrong waited until she could do it with a charitable project, which she did with Men of the Otherworld. Tales of the Otherworld is the second collection of eight short stories and all of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to World Literacy of Canada, which is "dedicated to promoting international development and social justice."

The first story, Rebirth, tells the story of how Aaron became a vampire. I have to tell you that I didn't know who Aaron was until I read the last story of the book. I really need to reread some of the earlier books and make notes so I can keep track of all of the characters! Aaron is the second in command of the north American vampires, working with Cassandra. It's quite a short story so to tell you more would give away too much. Let's just say Aaron wasn't that excited about being a vampire.

Bewitched is the story of how Eve met and fell in love with Kristof, thus producing Savannah. And, how it came to be that Kristof didn't know about Savannah until after Eve died. Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic are my favorite of the entire series, so I was happy to see this one included. I always thought there had to be more to Eve and Kristof than we first thought.

Birthright is Logan's story. At least the story of how he came to the Pack. He was raised with his mother and never knew anything about his father until, on his 18th birthday, he receives a letter with nothing more than the name of Jeremy Danvers and his address. Logan assumes that Jeremy is his father and, despite the changes he is going through, never suspects that he is a werewolf. Just as his father must have wanted - Logan has a lot to learn and now he has someone to teach him and give him a place in the werewolf world.

All of us who are fans of Women of the Otherworld know that Clay bit Elena and that is how she became a werewolf. What we didn't know is what Beginnings is all about. As the name suggests, it's the beginning of their relationship. This is one of the longest of the stories, which makes sense as Elena and Clay have a long history. Elena is a college student when she meets Clay - who is a visiting professor. For reasons he can't explain, he gives her a job when he doesn't need an assistant and, gradually, they develop a relationship. Elena has been in foster care most of her life so she is slow to trust and slower to love, but eventually she does love and trust Clay. Clay, however, hasn't told Elena that he is a werewolf, so there is some tension.

As it's not a secret that Clay bit Elena, I will tell you this: it wasn't premeditated, it was an impulse. He'd taken Elena home to meet Jeremy, thinking that once Jeremy saw that Clay had met his mate, then Jereamy would lift the ban on long-term relationships. Clay and Elena got engaged and almost no one in the Pack knew about her. Jeremy isn't happy about it and when Clay thinks that Jeremy is going to send Elena on her way, he bit her.

The short story pretty much ends there but the rest of it is in the early book, Bitten and more is told along the way in the other books that feature Elena and Clay as well as in Men of the Otherworld.

Expectations is a quick & dirty version of Lucas Cortez's first meeting with Eve Levine and the lessons she teaches him.

Given that we read the beginning of Clay and Elena's relationship just a few pages earlier, Ghosts was sort of disconcerting as it takes place after Clay and Elena are married. Jeremy, the lead of this story, also has memories of Elena just after she is bitten, so it gets a little confusing. In this story, though, Jeremy is dealing with a potential challenger for Alpha and facing the consequences of some of his choices as Alpha.

Wedding Bell Hell features my favorites: Paige Winterbourne, Lucas Cortez and Savannah Levine. Paige and Lucas are getting married and being supernatural does not mean that things always go smoothly - or that Lucas' father will not try to highjack the wedding and turn it into what *he* thinks it should be. Eventually, though, they do end up married - Paige and Lucas, that is - and no one's father is harmed in the doing of it.

The Case of El Chupacabra is the first nonprequel novella that Armstrong wrote. It also features my favorite witches and sorcerer, along with Cassandra and Aaron, the werewolf from the first story.

Sean Nast is in a gay bar when he finds a body - and the man appears to have been killed by a vampire. He hires Lucas Cortez to find out what happened, hoping to keep his own name out of the press and to keep his family from finding out he's gay.

Benicio Cortez, Lucas' father, is intent on getting Lucas to join the family business, which Lucas is dead set against. They finally come up with a solution that will make both Lucas and Benicio happy.

Sean struggles with coming out and eventually does come out to his uncle. Unfortunately, he does not get a positive response. I have to say, the struggles that Sean has with coming out are fairly realistic. It's easy to say "you should come out!" (and, for the record, I believe you should) but the actual doing of it can be tricky and there are frequently consequences. A person has to be prepared for them. Sean seems determined to find a way to reconcile his personal and professional lives and to be his own man, regardless of how difficult that might be.

The next book (due out in August) is Waking the Witch, which features Savannah, who is Sean's half-sister. I suspect we are going to be seeing more of Sean in that book, as he is the only Nast who acknowledges Savannah.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Kelley Armstrong writes some of the best short stories/novellas for a series I've ever read, and the is an incredible collection 11 août 2014
Par Jessica@RabidReads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Rebirth - How Aaron became a vampire and met Cassandra.

Bewitched - This is the story of how Eve and Kristof met and fell in love. And also the specifics concerning why she left him. Fair warning--it's as lovely as it is heartbreaking.

Birthright - Logan POV. How he joined the Pack.

Beginnings - At close to 200 pages this is closer to a short story than a novella (not that I'm complaining). It's included in the Tales of the Otherworld collection, and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I'm talking OMGOMG!! amazing.

It's the story of how Clay and Elena met and fell in love right up to where it all went to hell (you can read about the hell part in Becoming). It's told, alternating, from both Clay and Elena's POV, so it finally answers the question, "What was his thinking?!" a million times over. Was it a crap thing to do? Yes. Do I love, love, L-O-V-E him anyway? YES.

Expectations - From Lucas's POV, about a run-in he had with Eve in an attempt to steal one of her grimoires.

Ghosts - Jeremy POV from right after he sent Elena and Clay to Toronto in Bitten.

Wedding Bell Hell - Countdown to Lucas and Paige's wedding. Meh.

The Case of El Chupacabra - Lucas and Paige short story with a tiny bit of Sean Nast tossed in. About an alleged vampire killing and how Lucas and Paige came into possession of their office space.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 fans of the Otherworld 17 avril 2010
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
The second Otherworld short story collection (see Men of Otherworld) is a superb compilation that enhances knowledge of characters in the saga. As stated by Kelley Armstrong in the Introduction to the eight story anthology, "Beginnings" and "The Case of El Chapacabra" were written previously and placed on the author's website. In "Rebirth", Aaron learns of his vampire bloodline. "Bewitched" half-demon Eve and corporate sorcerer Kristof prove opposites attract. Logan Jonson seeks his "Birthright" when at eighteen he is about to meet his father Jeremy Danvers and unwittingly the pack for the first time. Elena of "Bitten" fame tells of her "Beginnings". The wedding of the year between Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne brings "Expectations" to fans who know everything will go wrong. In "Ghost" the house seems empty with Elena and Clay gone but Daniel threatens his former pack mates. Three weeks and counting down to the nuptials, but the engaged couple feel as if they are going through "Wedding Bell Hell" with the slow countdown. In "The Case of El Chapacabra", Lucas and Paige investigate murder. These are terrific entries, but only fans of the Otherworld series will appreciate them as, like Ms. Armstrong has done on-line, they fill gaps in the series.

Harriet Klausner
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Collected for the first time! 11 juin 2010
Par Tim Janson - Publié sur Amazon.com
This new hardcover collects several of Armstrong's shorter fiction featuring characters from her "Otherworld" series. There are eight stories in all, three novellas and give short stories. Most of the stories had been previously available to download off Armstrong's website but are collected here for the first time. Not being a fan of reading online I much prefer to always read print versions.

The book opens with "Rebirth" as kind-hearted Aaron wakes find himself in the family crypt, and makes a startling discovery about his mother's heritage. Next up is "Bewitched" the only all-new story in this collection. Narrated in first person by the witch Eve Levine, it is the story of how she met and became romantically involved with Kristof Nast and how they each taught each other valuable lessons in magic and life.

"Beginnings" is the longest story in the book and nearly a novel itself at around 200 pages. This story tells how Clay and Elena met and Armstrong takes the clever angle of allowing both to narrate a portion of the story. Nicely fills in the early details of their early days. "The Case of The El Chupacabra" is the other longer length novella and is the story of Lucas and Paige's investigation into a murder that could be the work of the mythical Chupacabra.

A superb collection overall and if you haven't already read these online then its definitely a must-have for Armstrong fans.
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