In the Kingdom of Isle, where the Sun Kings reign with the power of the Book of the Suns, Hal and Alan are given a mission. They must use the ancient strength of wisdom to destroy the evil that plagues the kingdom. The two blood brothers venture throughout the land fighting the many forms that this evil takes so they can arrive at their destiny.
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September 20, 2004
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Excerpt from The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer
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The Forest was the abode of warlocks, folk said, and goblins, and other creatures even worse. Still, Alan bent his staggering steps toward the Forest, as a desperate man will. Robbers had stripped him of everything--horse, weapons, even his clothing. The peasants could not spare him more than a beggar's crust. But within the Forest wilderness, Alan hoped, he might be able to find something to eat and a covering for his naked body.
He had not reckoned on his own dizzying weakness. The world swam before his eyes, and trees encircled him with a green blur. He sensed movement and angry shouting, but he did not care. Then the sting of a sword-flat across his back jolted him into full awareness.
Alan found himself facing a big, angry captain at the head of a mounted patrol. The next blow of the captain's sword knocked him to the ground. He lay sprawling, with no strength to flee or defend himself. Closing his eyes, Alan braced himself against the punishing blade.
But as suddenly as the blows had begun, they ceased. Alan looked up. What he saw was to remain clear in his memory for as long as he lived.
The burly captain had turned pale with fear. His chin quivered above a glinting blade pressed against his fleshy throat. But more fearsome than the sword's point, Alan thought, was the one who held the sword. He was a youth with the face of a warrior, straight of brow and strong of jaw--but there was more than a warrior's power about him. His eyes were steel gray, and there was some quality in his hard gaze that caused the captain to tremble and flinch, that caused Alan himself to struggle to his feet in hazy alarm. Yet he could not name the fear that he felt.
The gray-eyed youth spoke a few words that Alan could not understand, while his glance flashed with an eerie intensity of will that shocked Alan anew. Though the stranger had not moved, holding his sword to the captain's throat, the horses plunged away from him. The captain's men could not control them. Squealing and shying, they bolted into the Forest with their hapless riders on their backs. The stranger knocked the captain's sword from his limp fingers, slashed his reins and sent his horse careering after the others.
Alan stood watching, swaying with hunger and pain, vaguely thinking that he should leave as well. He did not have the strength to move a step. But the gray-eyed youth seemed to sense his hesitation. Quietly he dismounted from his big, gray horse and walked to face Alan. "My name is Hal," he said, "and I will befriend you, if I may. Will you come with me?"
Alan was absurdly glad that a choice was offered to him, though he could not have turned away without falling. He nodded and reached out toward the other, shaking with the effort. He could scarcely see. He felt a gentle hand take hold of him, and he gulped burning liquid from a flask. Hal wrapped him in a cloak and helped him into the saddle of his gray steed, then mounted behind. They sped away into the Forest.