9780345508898

Child of Fire

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780345508898

  • ISBN10:

    0345508890

  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-09-29
  • Publisher: Del Rey
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He's the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill himor let someone else do the job. Unfortunately for both of them, Annalise's next mission goes wrong, leaving her critically injured. With the little magic he controls, Ray must complete her assignment alone. Not only does he have to stop a sorcerer who's sacrificing dozens of innocent lives in exchange for supernatural power, he must also findand destroythe source of that inhuman magic. From the Paperback edition.

Author Biography

Harry Connolly spent two years writing this debut novel. He has held a variety of jobs in the past, from customer service to landscaping to stay-at-home dad. He lives in Seattle.

Excerpts

Chapter One


It felt good to sit behind the wheel again, even the wheel of a battered Dodge Sprinter. Even with this passenger beside me.

 The van rumbled like a garbage truck, handled like a refrigerator box, and needed a full minute to reach highway speeds. I’d driven better, but I’m a guy who has to take what I can get while I’m still alive to get it. 

The passenger beside me was Annalise Powliss. She stood about five foot nothing, was as thin as a mop handle, and was covered with tattoos from the neck down. 

Her hair was the same dark red as the circledF’s I used to get on my book reports, and she wore it cropped close to her scalp. It was an ugly cut, but she never seemed to care how she looked. I suspected she cut it herself. 

She was my boss, and she had been forbidden to kill me, although that’s what she most wanted to do. “Where are we going?” I asked for the fourth time. She didn’t answer. She wasn’t talking to me except to tell me where to drive. To be honest, I didn’t blame her. She had good reason to hate me. 

At the moment, though, she and I had a job to do and all I knew about it was this: Annalise was on her way to kill someone. Maybe several someones. I was supposed to help. 

Because she wouldn’t talk to me, I was not entirely clear who had ordered her not to kill me or why they would bother. I was just the driver, and I didn’t even know where we were going. 

“Quarter tank,” I said as we approached a gas station. I hated to drive on less than a half tank of gas, but so far the boss had refused to let me fill up. Since she had the money, the title, and the physical strength to tear my arm off, she made the decisions. 

She glanced down at the scrap of wood in her hand— unpainted and unfinished except for the twisted nonsense shape made of several colors on one side— and said nothing. I stifled my irritation and drove past the pumps. 

We were westbound somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula. There were no other cars on the road. The streets were slick with misting rain, and the sky was growing dark as eve ning approached. After my years in Southern California, I’d forgotten how long it could take for night to fall in this part of the world. 

The road was one of those rural highways with one lane in each direction and a speed limit of fifty- five. I was staying below the limit because the van, with its balding tires, whining brakes, and load of equipment in the back, wasn’t equipped for the twists and turns of backwoods driving. 

I was enjoying the drive anyway. I had a key to the door and I could see the sky. It felt good to be a free man again. 

Up ahead, I saw a big cedar right up close to the road. Annalise was not wearing her seat belt. I was wearing mine. The speedometer on the Sprinter shuddered at the fifty- miles- per-hour mark. All I had to do was swerve. She and her little scrap of lumber would fly through the windshield and slam against the tree, while I would be safe in the arms of the shoulder harness and air bag. 

I didn’t try it. It wasn’t just the motorcycle Annalise kept on flimsy mounts in the cargo area behind me. In truth, I doubted that slamming face- first into a tree trunk would do more than muss her thrift- shop clothes. And piss her off. She’d survived worse. I’d seen it. 

I was pretty sure Annalise wasn’t a human being. She had been, once, I thought, but I wasn’t sure what she was now. 

A Volvo

Excerpted from Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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