9780553495119

Damosel

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553495119

  • ISBN10:

    0553495119

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-08-10
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $8.99 Save up to $1.35
  • Buy New
    $7.64

    USUALLY SHIPS IN 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • 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

WATER SPIRIT DAMOSEL, the Lady of the Lake, glides through Arthurian legend like a glamorous wraith, shimmering and shifting between the worlds of fairies and humans. Her knowledge is vast (magic, metal, men's hearts) and leads to her greatest honorand worst mistake. Damosel makes a promise to the wizard Merlin to protect young King Arthur, and then dares to break itwith devastating results. All the while, 17-year-old Twixta dwarf in a world where difference can be deadlyfinds himself freed from his cruel masters and moving closer to the one place he never expected to see: King Arthur's court at Camelot. Stephanie Spinner intertwines the two narratives of Damosel and Twixt to draw us straight into the rich Arthurian land of enchantment. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Stephanie Spinner is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers. After a distinguished career in children’s book publishing, she is now a full-time writer. She lives in Sherman, Connecticut.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1

I am so well versed in The Rules Governing the Ladies of the Lake that I could recite them backward on a dare, but the wisdom I treasure most was gleaned not from that vast, ancient compendium but from my own earnest blundering. To wit: learn the Rules so you know when to break them.
It took me half a lifetime to understand this.

Long ago I had no inkling. I was a feckless young lake spirit, living in damp contentment in a place called Looe Pool. My home was deep and wide, the limpid blue of an aquamarine. Because it was only a stone's throw from the ocean, I could hear waves breaking day and night--a steady, soothing sound, like a giant breathing through a stuffy nose.

Grand as the ocean was, nothing compared to my Lake, for its water was refreshing in summer, bracing in winter, and, unlike the surf, very drinkable. I loved its taste of ducks' feet and shale.

I treasured solitude in those days, so I kept the Lake hidden. It was a feat well within my powers, for as a Lady, I commanded significant magic, just as my forebears had. There are severe restrictions to what I can divulge ("A Lady Does Not Discuss Her Ancestry or Her Training"), but I will say that I could obscure most things (including myself) to mere shadows and could move from one element to another as smoothly as rain gliding off a leaf. Like other Ladies, I knew countless helping and hindering spells, and I need hardly mention that I was bewitching, with every sort of glamour at my disposal--from the subtler ones all the way up to the dizzying, the blinding, and the stupefying.

Moreover, I could see what was hidden in men's hearts--which had its advantages, as men are always trying to hide something. But it was a gift I seldom used, for in those days I avoided mortals, deeming them rough, hasty creatures with indifferent manners and unfathomable customs. They were boistous, too--noisier than birds but without the pretty feathers. So I kept my distance, and they kept their secrets.
Another of my talents (and an unusual one for a Lady) was the ability to work metal, which I could shape and forge as well as any cave-dwelling gnome. I made necklaces of silver droplets, gold armbands shaped like leafy vines, candlesticks, pitchers, ewers, and tongs. I went through a long goblet phase--fifty years at least. Eventually I moved on to weapons--but more of that later.

Finally, as I have said, I could recite each and every one of the Rules Governing the Ladies of the Lake, having committed the entire body to memory when I was ninety-eight. I was only a child then and eager to prove my cleverness, but my achievement (such as it was) proved to be of questionable value, for, having memorized the Rules, I was then bound to follow them--not only by honor, but also because the skin between my toes itched (sometimes quite painfully) if I did not.

This could be irksome.

Which brings me to Merlin.

Far too much has been said (and sung) about what passed between the great wizard and me, and almost all of it is irritating nonsense. I did not flirt with him, nor did I charm him into loving me. I did not crave his powers, and I most emphatically did not lock him up by turning his own magic against him. The truth--sordid and shocking enough to make me cringe for at least a hundred years--is far more interesting, and I fully intend to reveal it. Until then, I will say only this: Merlin did introduce me to Arthur, and in doing so changed my life forever.

***

Merlin called on me one spring morning, just as the water lilies were opening to the sun. He did me the courtesy of coming into the Lake, but after I assured him that we could speak just as well on land, we floated to the shallows and then walked ashore. By this time the thrushes were singing, a lovely song, very liquid, about mayflies and grubs. We listened for a moment, and then Merlin told me why he had come.

"The future

Excerpted from Damosel: In Which the Lady of the Lake Renders a Frank and Often Startling Account of her Wondrous Life and Times by Stephanie Spinner
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.

Rewards Program

Write a Review