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       Raven Rise, p.1

           D. J. MacHale
 
Raven Rise


  PENDRAGON

  JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE

  Book Nine:

  Raven Rise

  PENDRAGON

  JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE

  Book One: The Merchant of Death

  Book Two: The Lost City of Faar

  Book Three: The Never War

  Book Four: The Reality Bug

  Book Five: Black Water

  Book Six: The Rivers of Zadaa

  Book Seven: The Quillan Games

  Book Eight: The Pilgrims of Rayne

  Book Nine: Raven Rise

  Book Ten: To Be Announced

  SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

  An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

  1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

  This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Copyright © 2008 by D. J. MacHale

  All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

  SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  MacHale, D. J.

  Raven rise / D. J. MacHale.—1st ed.

  p. cm.—(Pendragon; bk. 9)

  “Journal of an adventure through time and space.”

  Summary: While Pendragon is trapped on Ibara, Alder returns to Denduron and reluctantly goes into battle again, and other Travelers face obstacles of various sorts, Saint Dane gains the power he seeks on Second Earth and makes his push toward destroying and rebuilding Halla.

  ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-7495-6

  ISBN-10: 1-4169-7495-4

  [1. Adventure and adventurers—Fiction. 2. Space and time—Fiction. 3. Diaries—Fiction. 4. Fantasy.] I. Title.

  PZ7.M177535Rav 2008

  [Fic]—dc22

  2007046886

  Visit us on the World Wide Web:

  http://www.SimonSays.com

  CONTENTS

  PREFACE

  DENDURON

  THIRD EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  DENDURON

  DENDURON

  THIRD EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  FIRST EARTH

  JOURNAL #33IBARA

  JOURNAL #33IBARA

  SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  JOURNAL #34IBARA

  SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #35DENDURON

  JOURNAL #35DENDURON

  JOURNAL #35DENDURON

  JOURNAL #35DENDURON

  SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  THIRD EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  SECOND EARTH

  JOURNAL #36SECOND EARTH

  For Gene & Theresa Gregory

  PREFACE

  The penultimate Pendragon.

  Has a nice ring to it, no? In case you don’t know what penultimate means, find a dictionary and look it up. Right now. Go. I’m serious. The book will still be here when you get back. Promise.

  For those of you who already know what it means, bravo!

  For those of you who actually ran off and looked it up, well done.

  For those of you slackers who didn’t know and didn’t look it up either (cough lazy cough) I’ll just tell you.

  Penultimate: Second to last in a series or sequence.

  Yup. This is it. The second to last chapter in the story of Bobby Pendragon and the Travelers. It’s hard to believe. When I began writing The Merchant of Death so long ago, reaching the end of the story seemed like a distant, unattainable goal. Now we are on the verge of bringing it all to a close. I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel. Of course the tunnel happens to be a flume and the light is a force that was sent from the far reaches of Halla to come grab hold and launch us on the next-to-final leg of our journey.

  So we may be close, but we’re not done just yet.

  You may think that getting a Pendragon book on the shelf is all about me. It isn’t. Not even close. As always, I’d like to write a few words of thanks to those who have helped give life to the Pendragon saga. Many have been there from the very beginning. Some are new to the adventure. All have been instrumental in bringing this story to you.

  All my friends at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing have continued to be great supporters. My sincere gratitude goes out to Rick Richter, Rubin Pfeffer, Justin Chanda, Ellen Krieger, Paul Crichton, and so many more wonderful, talented people in marketing, promotion, and sales. I thank you all.

  There’s a new editor in town. Liesa Abrams. She has taken hold of the Pendragon reins with such joy and enthusiasm that I’m confident the story will be in very good hands until the last chapter of the final book is written. Thank you, Liesa.

  A special note of thanks goes to Matt Schwartz, who is principally responsible for dusting off the cobwebs and spiffing up the Pendragon website. Great job, Matt.

  We have a new cover designer and artist. They are Lucy Cummins and Dawn Austin. When I first saw their vision for Raven Rise, my jaw dropped. In a good way. I think it perfectly captures the next step in the evolution of Bobby’s story and character. Very cool, guys.

  Heidi Hellmich, ace copyeditor, has once again done a masterful job of correcting my improper English. Heidi has used her laserlike green pencil on every word of every book from the very beginning. If she gets hit by a bus before #10 is complete, we’ll all be in trouble. Thanks so much, Heidi. Please be sure to always look both ways before crossing the street.

  My good friend Richard Curtis has, as always, provided the kind of wisdom and sage guidance that allows me to muddle through the task of disassembling the universe without having to concern myself too much with real life. Thank you, Richard.

  Peter Nelson has always been a great friend. He and Mark Wetzstein defy logic by being terrific lawyers while simultaneously being great guys. Incredible. I guess anything is possible in Halla.

  Thank you again to Danny Baror, who continues to work to spread the Pendragon saga throughout the world. Also to Eileen Hutton, the talented Bill Dufris, and all the folks at Brilliance Audio who produce the awesome Pendragon audio books. And I owe a debt of gratitude to all the foreign language publishers of the Pendragon journals. I love seeing all the different versions of the books on my bookshelf. Of course I can’t read a single one of them, but the covers sure do look great!

  One of my favorite experiences when writing a Pendragon book is handing over the pages I’d written that day to my wife, Evangeline. She’s the first critic to get a crack at the story and her insight is invaluable. She points out things that don’t make sense or that feel wrong or are just plain bad. The first thing I do the next day is fine-tune the previous day’s writing based on her thoughts. It’s
a great system. Though I have to admit my favorite comment I get from her is when she finishes the pages, drops them, looks at me, and says: “I want more.” That’s when I know I did something right. Thanks, babe.

  I still haven’t introduced my daughter, Keaton, to Bobby Pendragon. After all, she’s only four and a half. She’s way more interested in princesses and magic. Every night she asks me to make up a story for her, starring her. Usually it’s about a princess. Or magic. Duh. But a while back she said: “Daddy, tell me a scary story.” I raised an eyebrow in surprise and said, “Really? You sure?” She nodded. “Okay.” I shrugged and proceeded to make up a story that I think freaked her out so much that she’s going to need serious therapy some time down the road. Oops. The story wasn’t even that intense but for a minute I was afraid I had warped her for life. That is until shortly after when she started telling me her own stories that had to do with monsters and running around in dark caves and yellow snakes that disguise themselves as spaghetti. That’s my girl. Just like her old man. I’ll be writing scary stories for her for a long time to come…and enjoying hers. What a team!

  I’m deeply grateful to all the booksellers, librarians, teachers, and parents who have recommended my books. There are a lot of great books to choose from and I’m honored that so many have chosen mine as one that is worthy of bringing to their young readers. Thanks!

  Of course Pendragon wouldn’t be Pendragon without you, my friends. To those of you who have been there since the beginning, a special thanks for sticking around to see how it will all come out. To everyone who has written to me, thanks for your thoughts, comments, and questions. It’s a great feeling to know that my story has such an impact on you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Or maybe I can. I appreciate it. A lot. There.

  I think that about covers it, right? No? Oh, right. This is supposed to be about Raven Rise, isn’t it? Almost forgot. Now where were we? Oh yeah…

  Convergence.

  You could look that one up in the dictionary too but I’ll do it myself and save you the trouble. (Cough still lazy cough)

  Convergence: a coming together from different directions, especially a uniting or merging of groups or tendencies that were originally opposed or very different.

  When we were last with Bobby, he made an incredible sacrifice that he thought would end the war with Saint Dane for good. He destroyed the entrance to the flume on Ibara, trapping himself and the demon on that territory. Though he knew the bold move meant he would never see his friends or his home again, he felt it was necessary because he was putting an end to Saint Dane’s evil quest. There was only one problem.

  The Convergence had already begun.

  The war wasn’t over. The story didn’t end there. Not for Bobby. Not for Saint Dane.

  And not for us.

  Did you seriously think it would be any other way?

  Like I said, we’re not done yet.

  This is the penultimate Pendragon.

  Hobey ho, let’s go.

  —D. J. MacHale

  PENDRAGON

  JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE

  Book Nine:

  Raven Rise

  DENDURON

  “Ibara!”

  The tunnel remained silent. The only sign of life was the hollow sound of the command as it echoed through the dark void.

  “Ibara!” the tall knight cried again, louder, as if that might make a difference. He knew it wouldn’t. The tunnel to infinity ignored his plea. He hadn’t expected this, though he’d feared something was wrong long before the flume went deaf. It struck him the last time he’d spoken with Bobby Pendragon.

  Alder, the Traveler from Denduron, stood alone in the mouth of the flume on the territory of Quillan, wondering what had happened. Why wasn’t the flume working? What had his friend done? When Alder left Pendragon on Ibara, he sensed that the lead Traveler was keeping something from him. Pendragon had a plan. Pendragon always had a plan. For some reason he hadn’t wanted to share it. Alder sensed it at the time, but didn’t question. Now he wished he had. He knew in his heart that Bobby Pendragon had done something to prevent him from returning to Ibara. But why? Only Pendragon had that answer, and Pendragon was on Ibara. Isolated. Unreachable.

  “What have you done, my friend?” Alder muttered to no one.

  The knight felt as if there was only one thing he could do. Go home. That’s where Pendragon would look for him when he was needed. If he was needed.

  “Denduron!” Alder shouted into the tunnel. He held his breath, fearful that the flume would continue to ignore his commands and leave him stranded on an alien territory.

  It didn’t. The flume growled to life. The tunnel began to writhe like a monstrous snake working out the kinks after a long nap. Alder heard the comforting sound of the rocks cracking and grinding against one another. The flume still worked. It was only the route to Ibara that was closed. A pin spot of light appeared in the distance, transforming the dull gray rocks into clear crystal as it came to sweep him up for his journey home. Alder braced himself. The light grew bright. The jumble of musical notes that always accompanied a Traveler’s journey grew louder. Alder felt the gentle tug of energy that would pull him in and send him on his way.

  He had come to Quillan on a simple mission: to return four weapons to their original territory. They were six-foot-long metal rods. Dado killers. Bobby didn’t want them on Ibara. He wanted to purge that territory of all technology from other territories. Alder got the weapons back with no problem.

  If somebody asked him why he’d changed his mind at that moment, he wouldn’t know how to answer. Maybe it was the instinct of a warrior. Maybe it was the fear of the unknown. Maybe it was confusion over the fact that once again things weren’t happening the way he expected them to. Maybe it was all of the above. No matter. The instant before he was swept into the flume, Alder had bent down and grabbed back the four dado-killing weapons. He wanted them on Denduron. Just in case.

  A moment later he was on his way.

  As he traveled through the flume he gazed out of the crystal tunnel to the star field beyond. The ghostly images of Halla that had been appearing in space had become so dense it was difficult to make out any single one. Alder caught glimpses of screaming rockets, marching armies, and crumbling buildings. Enormous toothy sharks soared through a pack of vicious snarling animals that were imposed over massive, sand-swept pyramids. Alder didn’t recognize or understand most of the stunning images. He was a simple knight from a small farming village. But he understood chaos. Seeing the spectacular fury of these impressions in space made him fear that in spite of their many victories, the Travelers’ battle to save Halla was not over. Not even close.

  They had taken a bold chance on Ibara. They knew that mingling the territories went against the laws of what was meant to be, but they saw no other way to save Ibara. Saint Dane had amassed an enormous army of dados from Quillan to attack the village of Rayne. Without the help of the Travelers, it would have been a slaughter. Ibara would have been crushed and any hope of salvaging Veelox would have been destroyed along with it. Pendragon and the Travelers chose to take a stand. There was no weapon or resource that existed on Ibara that could have stopped Saint Dane’s army. For that they looked to Denduron. Alder’s home.

  They called it tak. It was a reddish, claylike mineral found deep underground. It was deadly. It was explosive. Pendragon, Alder, and the Traveler from Ibara, named Siry, unearthed enough of the volatile material to use as a weapon against the dados. The result was as effective as it was frightening. The army of dados was obliterated along with most of the village of Rayne. Still, the Travelers had won. Ibara was saved. Saint Dane had been turned back once again. Pendragon and the Travelers felt certain the decision to use tak was the right one, for Saint Dane’s quest to control Halla had been crushed.

  Yet the images in space remained. Halla was still in turmoil. Seeing the chaotic images among the stars made Alder wonder if they had done the
right thing after all. Did they truly win on Ibara? If so, how steep was the price? He tried to force those dark thoughts from his head. Alder took pride in being a problem solver. Worrying didn’t solve problems. He knew he had to move on and be ready to do battle if the time came again. When the time came again. It was what he did best. He turned his thoughts toward home. Denduron. It was the first territory where Pendragon and the Travelers had battled Saint Dane. It was their first victory. After the horror of the war on Ibara, he looked forward to returning to the now peaceful territory.

  The sweet musical notes grew louder, warning him that he was almost home. He twisted himself upright as he flew on the warm cushion of air, ready to be deposited at the gate on Denduron. Alder smiled. He needed a rest and hoped that his duties as a Bedoowan knight would allow for a little downtime.

  It was at that moment that he caught one last image floating in the sea of space. It was a fleeting image of a large group of dark-skinned men holding up spears, waving them angrily. The image caught his eye because it was familiar. The men were tall and thin. Each one was as bald as the next. They wore thick leather armor that was distinctly purple. Alder recognized them. They were a primitive tribe that lived on the far side of the mountain from where his village lay on Denduron. They were a peaceful people. Seeing them waving spears, wearing armor, and chanting angrily was disturbing. What could it mean? The image was gone as quickly as he registered it, swallowed up by the vision of a silver dygo machine from Zadaa. In Alder’s mind, the image of the angry armed tribe remained. He knew it wasn’t a good omen.

 
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