The battle continues. The struggle of good versus evil continues as Bobby Pendragon follows Saint Dane to the territory of Zadaa. Saint Dane's influence has fueled the fire of discontent between two warring tribes: the Rokador and the Batu. This is also the territory where the Traveler Loor lives as a member of the Batu. Together she and Bobby must work to thwart Saint Dane's efforts to destroy Zadaa.
But as Bobby pursues Saint Dane, he begins to notice changes in himself. He is no longer a flip kid looking for excitement. He is a young man beginning to see this quest as more than a series of adventures. He is also learning that as a Traveler, he has powers no normal human should have.
In this latest installment of Bobby Pendragon's battle to save humanity, discovery and danger go hand in hand as D. J. MacHale takes readers on an emotional thrill ride they won't soon forget..
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June 29, 2005
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Excerpt from The Rivers of Zadaa by D.J. MacHale
Chapter One: Journal #20
It began with a battle.
A nasty one. Then again, is there such a thing as a nice battle I guess this one seemed especially vicious because it was over something so trivial. At least that's what I thought at the time. At stake was a couple gallons of water. I'm serious. Regular old everyday water. Not exactly the kind of thing you'd expect a group of professional warriors to fight to the death over, but that's not the way it works here on the territory of Zadaa. Water here is more valuable than food, more valuable than treasure. It's even more valuable than life. I know. I've seen people risk theirs to get a few precious drops.
How messed up is that
Mark, Courtney, it's been a while since I've written a journal to you guys, and for that I apologize. I think after I tell you all that's happened since my last journal, you'll understand why. From the time I arrived here on Zadaa, I haven't had much time to think, let alone kick back and write. I'm doing it now because I'm about to set out on an adventure that was long in coming. I've tried to avoid it, but now I have no choice. Starting tomorrow, life is going to be very different for me. I feel as if I'm closing the first chapter on my life as a Traveler and beginning a new and more dangerous one. I know, that doesn't seem possible, but it's the truth. Before I tell you about it, I need to let you know what happened since I landed back on Zadaa. You'll need to hear it all to understand why I've chosen the path I'm about to take. Maybe writing it down will help me understand it a little better myself.
You won't be surprised to hear that Saint Dane is here. I've already run into him. It wasn't pretty. But more about that later. I also have a good idea of what the turning point is here on Zadaa. I think it has something to do with water...or the lack of it. I've no doubt that Saint Dane's evil plan for this territory is somehow tied in to the water trouble they're having. Bottom line is, our quest to stop Saint Dane's plan to crush all of Halla has come to Zadaa. This is our next challenge. And so we go.
I first want to tell you about the battle that happened soon after I arrived. It's important to hear because in many ways it's a small example of the bigger trouble I found on this territory. That, and because one of the warriors involved in the fight was my friend. Loor. The Traveler from Zadaa.
"Keep to yourself, Pendragon," Loor ordered as we strode along the dusty street of Xhaxhu. "Stay in the shadows. Do not look anyone in the eye. It is dangerous for a Rokador to be seen in the city."
"But I'm not a Rokador," I complained.
"Do not argue," Loor said sharply. "Do as I say."
I didn't argue. I knew what she meant. There were two tribes living in this area of Zadaa. The Batu lived above ground in the cities. They were a dark-skinned race, made so because they lived for generations under the hot, desert sun. Loor was a Batu. The other tribe was the Rokador. They lived underground in a labyrinth of tunnels that spread throughout Zadaa. They weren't moles or anything; they were definitely civilized. But as you might guess, living underground didn't do much for their tans. The Rokador were a light-skinned race. So with my white skin and light brown hair, I pretty much looked like a Rokador. And since there was some serious bad blood between the Batu and the Rokador, making myself invisible up here on the surface was a smart idea. To that end, Loor had me wearing heavy, dark clothing that covered my head and arms. It was great for a disguise, not so great for keeping cool. I'm guesstimating that the temperature in Xhaxhu averages about ninety degrees. On a cool day. So I was sweating like a fiend. Or at least a fiend in a sauna wearing a winter coat.