Bookworm II

Bookworm

Book 2
Elsewhen Press
15
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Not every ugly duckling becomes a swan...




In the wake of the disastrous attack on the Golden City, Lady Light Spinner has become Grand Sorceress and Elaine, the Bookworm, has been settling into her positions as Head Librarian and Privy Councillor. But any hope of vanishing into her books is negated when a new magician of staggering power appears in the city, one whose abilities seem to defy the known laws of magic.


    Johan is a Powerless, a person born to a magical family yet lacking powers of his own. His dreams of a better life are curbed by his family, who see him as a cripple at best and a burden at worst. But when a political protest goes horrifically wrong, Johan discovers that his true powers have merely been buried, waiting for their chance to explode into the world. As he comes to grips with his newfound talents, he discovers that he finally has a chance to realise his ambitions ...


   ... But for the Golden City, reeling after the devastation of six months earlier, he may be the greatest threat the city has ever seen. Elaine must unlock the mystery behind his powers before the political factions can kill him ... or use him to unleash a nightmare.




Returning to well-loved characters from Christopher Nuttall's bestselling Bookworm and introducing new ones, Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling explores power – and the effect it has on the human mind.

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More by Christopher Nuttall

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Elaine is an orphan girl who has grown up in a world where magical ability brings power. Her limited talent was enough to ensure a magical training but she's very inexperienced and was lucky to get a position working in the Great Library. Now, the Grand Sorcerer - the most powerful magician of them all - is dying, although initially that makes little difference to Elaine; she certainly doesn't have the power to compete for higher status in the Golden City. But all that changes when she triggers a magical trap and ends up with all the knowledge from the Great Library - including forbidden magic that no one is supposed to know - stuffed inside her head. This unwanted gift doesn't give her greater power, but it does give her a better understanding of magic, allowing her to accomplish far more than ever before.
   It's also terribly dangerous. If the senior wizards find out what has happened to her, they will almost certainly have her killed. The knowledge locked away in the Great Library was meant to remain permanently sealed and letting it out could mean a repeat of the catastrophic Necromantic Wars of five hundred years earlier. Elaine is forced to struggle with the terrors and temptations represented by her newfound knowledge, all the while trying to stay out of sight of those she fears, embodied by the sinister Inquisitor Dread.
   But a darkly powerful figure has been drawing up a plan to take the power of the Grand Sorcerer for himself; and Elaine, unknowingly, is vital to his scheme. Unless she can unlock the mysteries behind her new knowledge, divine the unfolding plan, and discover the truth about her own origins, there is no hope for those she loves, the Golden City or her entire world.
Elaine and Johan are preparing to leave Golden City, with Daria and the travellers, in order to search for the Witch-King. The Grand Sorceress instructs Inquisitor Cass to help them. But before Elaine can leave she is arrested by two Inquisitors on the orders of the Emperor.  When she resists she is hit with a powerful spell that forces her to concentrate all her efforts on protecting her mind from its intrusion. Taken to the palace she finds that the Grand Sorceress has been removed and the Throne has accepted an heir to the Empire. Realising this has to be the work of the Witch-King, Elaine must defeat the spell that is eating away at her defences if she is to escape and destroy him. Meanwhile, Johan, Daria and Cass are trying to find a way to get to Elaine and break her out of the cell in which she is being held.

   The Golden City is still widely devastated from the disastrous battle for power that followed the death of the previous Grand Sorcerer.  The recent escalating breakdown of social order can only be made worse by the return of an Emperor and the imposition of martial law. The Privy Councillors and Heads of the Great Houses succumb to the power of the new Emperor, as he amasses a huge army. It is up to Elaine and her friends, with some unexpected help, to prevent an all-out war.


The third instalment in the Bookworm series, The Best Laid Plans follows on immediately from the events in The Very Ugly Duckling, with Elaine and Johan joined by other favourite characters as they try to track down the Witch-King. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Elsewhen Press
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Published on
Jan 3, 2014
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9781908168382
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Fantasy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Elaine and Johan are preparing to leave Golden City, with Daria and the travellers, in order to search for the Witch-King. The Grand Sorceress instructs Inquisitor Cass to help them. But before Elaine can leave she is arrested by two Inquisitors on the orders of the Emperor.  When she resists she is hit with a powerful spell that forces her to concentrate all her efforts on protecting her mind from its intrusion. Taken to the palace she finds that the Grand Sorceress has been removed and the Throne has accepted an heir to the Empire. Realising this has to be the work of the Witch-King, Elaine must defeat the spell that is eating away at her defences if she is to escape and destroy him. Meanwhile, Johan, Daria and Cass are trying to find a way to get to Elaine and break her out of the cell in which she is being held.

   The Golden City is still widely devastated from the disastrous battle for power that followed the death of the previous Grand Sorcerer.  The recent escalating breakdown of social order can only be made worse by the return of an Emperor and the imposition of martial law. The Privy Councillors and Heads of the Great Houses succumb to the power of the new Emperor, as he amasses a huge army. It is up to Elaine and her friends, with some unexpected help, to prevent an all-out war.


The third instalment in the Bookworm series, The Best Laid Plans follows on immediately from the events in The Very Ugly Duckling, with Elaine and Johan joined by other favourite characters as they try to track down the Witch-King. 

Elaine is an orphan girl who has grown up in a world where magical ability brings power. Her limited talent was enough to ensure a magical training but she's very inexperienced and was lucky to get a position working in the Great Library. Now, the Grand Sorcerer - the most powerful magician of them all - is dying, although initially that makes little difference to Elaine; she certainly doesn't have the power to compete for higher status in the Golden City. But all that changes when she triggers a magical trap and ends up with all the knowledge from the Great Library - including forbidden magic that no one is supposed to know - stuffed inside her head. This unwanted gift doesn't give her greater power, but it does give her a better understanding of magic, allowing her to accomplish far more than ever before.
   It's also terribly dangerous. If the senior wizards find out what has happened to her, they will almost certainly have her killed. The knowledge locked away in the Great Library was meant to remain permanently sealed and letting it out could mean a repeat of the catastrophic Necromantic Wars of five hundred years earlier. Elaine is forced to struggle with the terrors and temptations represented by her newfound knowledge, all the while trying to stay out of sight of those she fears, embodied by the sinister Inquisitor Dread.
   But a darkly powerful figure has been drawing up a plan to take the power of the Grand Sorcerer for himself; and Elaine, unknowingly, is vital to his scheme. Unless she can unlock the mysteries behind her new knowledge, divine the unfolding plan, and discover the truth about her own origins, there is no hope for those she loves, the Golden City or her entire world.
Elaine and Johan are preparing to leave Golden City, with Daria and the travellers, in order to search for the Witch-King. The Grand Sorceress instructs Inquisitor Cass to help them. But before Elaine can leave she is arrested by two Inquisitors on the orders of the Emperor.  When she resists she is hit with a powerful spell that forces her to concentrate all her efforts on protecting her mind from its intrusion. Taken to the palace she finds that the Grand Sorceress has been removed and the Throne has accepted an heir to the Empire. Realising this has to be the work of the Witch-King, Elaine must defeat the spell that is eating away at her defences if she is to escape and destroy him. Meanwhile, Johan, Daria and Cass are trying to find a way to get to Elaine and break her out of the cell in which she is being held.

   The Golden City is still widely devastated from the disastrous battle for power that followed the death of the previous Grand Sorcerer.  The recent escalating breakdown of social order can only be made worse by the return of an Emperor and the imposition of martial law. The Privy Councillors and Heads of the Great Houses succumb to the power of the new Emperor, as he amasses a huge army. It is up to Elaine and her friends, with some unexpected help, to prevent an all-out war.


The third instalment in the Bookworm series, The Best Laid Plans follows on immediately from the events in The Very Ugly Duckling, with Elaine and Johan joined by other favourite characters as they try to track down the Witch-King. 

It's 1830, in an alternate Britain where the 'scientific' principles of magic were discovered sixty years previously, allowing the British to win the American War of Independence. Although Britain is now supreme among the Great Powers, the gulf between rich and poor in the Empire has widened and unrest is growing every day. Master Thomas, the King's Royal Sorcerer, is ageing and must find a successor to lead the Royal Sorcerers Corps. Most magicians can possess only one of the panoply of known magical powers, but Thomas needs to find a new Master of all the powers. There is only one candidate, one person who has displayed such a talent from an early age, but has been neither trained nor officially acknowledged. A perfect candidate to be Master Thomas' apprentice, in all ways but one: the Royal College of Sorcerers has never admitted a girl before.
  But even before Lady Gwendolyn Crichton can begin her training, London is plunged into chaos by a campaign of terrorist attacks co-ordinated by Jack, a powerful and rebellious magician.

The Royal Sorceress will certainly appeal to all fans of steampunk, alternate history, and fantasy. As well as the fun of the 'what-ifs' delivered by the rewriting of our past, it delights with an Empire empowered by magic - all the better for being one we can recognise. The scheming and intrigue of Jack and his rebels, the roof-top chases and the thrilling battles of magic are played out against the dark and unforgiving backdrop of life in the sordid slums and dangerous factories of London. Many of the rebels are drawn from a seedy and grimy underworld, while their Establishment targets prey on the weak and defenceless. The price for destroying the social imbalance and sexual inequality that underpin society may be more than anyone can imagine.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Praise for Past Tense

“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic

“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)

“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)

“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
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