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Messenger’s Legacy

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Messenger’s Legacy
Peter V. Brett

A thrilling novella set in the world of The Demon Cycle from bestselling fantasy author Peter V. Brett.Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons. Bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace.Briar Damaj is a boy of six in the small village of Bogton. Half-Krasian, the village children call him Mudboy for his dark skin. When tragedy strikes, Briar decides the town is better off without him, fleeing into the bog with nothing but his wits and a bit of herb lore to protect him.After twenty years, Ragen Messenger has agreed to retire and pass on his route to his protégé, Arlen Bales. But for all that he's earned the rest, he has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. When he learns Briar, the son of an old friend, is missing, Ragen is willing to risk any danger to bring him safely home.

Copyright (#)

HarperVoyager

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

77-85 Fulham Palace Road,

Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

www.harpervoyagerbooks.co.uk (http://www.harpervoyagerbooks.co.uk)

First published in Great Britain by HarperVoyager 2014

Copyright © Peter V. Brett 2014

Cover texture © www.Shutterstock.com (http://www.Shutterstock.com)

Cover design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2014

Map by Andrew Ashton.

Peter V. Brett asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780008114701

Ebook Edition © December 2014 ISBN: 9780008114718

Version: 2014-11-11

Contents

Cover (#u20b1ca6c-1FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Title Page (#u20b1ca6c-2FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Copyright (#u20b1ca6c-3FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Dedication (#u20b1ca6c-5FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Introduction (#u20b1ca6c-6FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Map (#u20b1ca6c-7FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

1. Burning True (#u20b1ca6c-8FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

2. Briarpatch (#litres_trial_promo)

3. Ragen (#litres_trial_promo)

4. Mudboy (#litres_trial_promo)

5. A Last Run (#litres_trial_promo)

6. Cories (#litres_trial_promo)

Ward Grimoire (#litres_trial_promo)

Introduction (#litres_trial_promo)

By the Same Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Dedication (#)

For Myke and Joshua, who read all the versions.

Introduction (#)

Like the other Demon Cycle novellas, The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold, this story grew out of the main series, a stunted branch that put down roots and flourished when planted on its own.

The first chapter, ‘Burning True’, was originally written as the opening chapter of my third novel, The Daylight War. It quickly became clear that telling Briar’s story fully would require far more space than I had to spare in a series already known for its ever-increasing number of point-of-view characters. The chapter was excised, but I always knew I would come back to it when the time was right.

Some time later, the chapter was published in Shawn Speakman’s charity anthology Unfettered, under the title Mudboy. Still only a piece of Briar’s story, I’m grateful to Subterranean Press for giving me the chance now to finally tell the story in full.

Look for Briar to make appearances in The Skull Throne, the fourth book of the Demon Cycle next year.

Peter V. Brett

July, 2014

www.petervbrett.com (http://www.petervbrett.com)

1 (#)

Burning True (#)

324 AR Summer

Briar started awake at the clanging.

His mother was banging the porridge pot with her metal ladle, the sound echoing through the house. ‘Out of bed, lazeabouts!’ she cried. ‘First Horn sounded a quarter past and breakfast is hot! Any who ent finished by sunup get an empty belly till luncheon!’

A pillow struck Briar’s head. ‘Open the slats, Briarpatch,’ Hardey mumbled.

‘Why do I always have to do it?’ Briar asked.

Another pillow hit Briar on the opposite side of his head. ‘Cause if there’s a demon there, Hardey and I can run while it eats you!’ Hale snapped. ‘Get goin’!’

The twins always bullied him together … not that it mattered. They had twelve summers, and each of them towered over him like a wood demon.

Briar stumbled out of the bed, rubbing his eyes as he felt his way to the window and turned up the slats. The sky was a reddish purple, giving just enough light for Briar to make out the lurking shapes of demons in the yard. His mother called them cories, but Father called them alagai.

While the twins were still stretching in bed waiting for their eyes to adjust to the light, Briar hurried out of the room to try and be first to the privy curtain. He almost made it, but as usual, his sisters shouldered him out of the way at the last second.

‘Girls first, Briarpatch!’ Sky said. With thirteen summers, she was more menacing than the twins, but even Sunny, ten, could muscle poor Briar about easily.

He decided he could hold his water until after breakfast, and made it first to the table. It was Sixthday. The day Relan had bacon, and each of the children was allowed a slice. Briar inhaled the smell as he listened to the bacon crackle on the skillet. His mother was folding eggs, singing to herself. Dawn was a round woman, with big meaty arms that could wrestle five children at once, or crush them all in an embrace. Her hair was bound in a green kerchief.
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