Atlantis lost, p.1
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       Atlantis Lost, p.1

           T.A. Barron
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Atlantis Lost


  Also by T. A. Barron

  The Atlantis Saga

  Atlantis Rising

  Atlantis in Peril

  Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr

  The Merlin Saga

  Merlin: Book One: The Lost Years

  Merlin: Book Two: The Seven Songs

  Merlin: Book Three: The Raging Fires

  Merlin: Book Four: The Mirror of Fate

  Merlin: Book Five: A Wizard’s Wings

  Merlin: Book Six: The Dragon of Avalon

  Merlin: Book Seven: Doomraga’s Revenge

  Merlin: Book Eight: Ultimate Magic

  Merlin: Book Nine: The Great Tree of Avalon

  Merlin: Book Ten: Shadows on the Stars

  Merlin: Book Eleven: The Eternal Flame

  Merlin: Book Twelve: The Book of Magic

  The Heartlight Saga

  Heartlight

  The Ancient One

  The Merlin Effect

  Chapter Book

  Tree Girl

  Picture Books

  Where Is Grandpa?

  High as a Hawk

  The Day the Stones Walked

  Ghost Hands

  Inspirational Books

  The Hero’s Trail

  The Wisdom of Merlin

  PHILOMEL BOOKS

  an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

  375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

  Copyright © 2016 by Thomas A. Barron.

  Map of Atlantis illustration copyright © 2013 by Thomas A. Barron.

  Map of spirit realm illustration copyright © 2016 by Thomas A. Barron.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Philomel Books is a registered trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Names: Barron, T. A., author. Title: Atlantis lost / T. A. Barron.

  Description: New York, NY : Philomel Books, [2016] | Series: The Atlantis saga ; 3 | Sequel to: Atlantis in peril. | Audience: Ages 8–12. | Audience: Grade 4 to 6.

  Identifiers: LCCN 2015038985 | ISBN 9780399168055

  Subjects: | CYAC: Atlantis (Legendary place)—Fiction. | Fantasy. | BISAC: JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy & Magic. | JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / General. | JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General.

  Classification: LCC PZ7.B27567 Ar 2016 | DDC [Fic]—dc23

  LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2015038985

  Ebook ISBN: 9780698174603

  Edited by Jill Santopolo.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Version_1

  Dedicated to

  all the places, creatures, and people

  where the magic of Atlantis endures

  Contents

  Also by T. A. Barron

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  Map of Atlantis

  Map of Spirit Realm

  1. A Gentle Wing

  2. Rage and Ruin

  3. Evarra and Noverro

  4. The Universal Bridge

  5. A Difficult Choice

  6. Voice from on High

  7. The Bridge to Nowhere

  8. Graybeard

  9. Magic Circles

  10. Banana Bread

  11. Endless Magic with You Goes

  12. A Dark Passage

  13. The Crystal Dove

  14. Swallows

  15. Searching

  16. Something to Say

  17. The Visitors

  18. Attack

  19. Plans

  20. Reunited

  21. Anguish

  22. A Well-Deserved Bath

  23. Screams

  24. Collapse

  25. Shangri’s Prayer

  26. Our Fight

  27. Faith

  28. Battle for the Spirit Realm

  29. The Flashbolt Cannon

  30. Desperation

  31. The Greatest Single Force

  32. Time to Die

  33. Tidal Wave

  34. One Great Story

  35. The Last Passenger

  36. The Most Magical Place

  CHAPTER 1

  A Gentle Wing

  Music had always filled her thoughts—even before she was born.

  During all her months in her mother’s womb, Omarya heard music everywhere. Songs hummed in her still-forming ears, danced to the cadence of her mother’s heartbeat, and flowed through her young veins. None of which was surprising at all, since Omarya was one of the rarest creatures in the spirit realm: a harmonic chimewing.

  Youngest in her family—and the first chimewing to be born in many years—her birth inspired a great celebration. Spirit creatures came from all across the realm to sing and dance and play wondrous musical instruments in her honor, crowding around the shimmering silver cloud where her family had lived for eons. The joyful music-making lasted several days . . . and assured Omarya that as rich with song as her time in the womb had been, her new life after birth would be even more sonorous.

  In the weeks since, she’d been discovering all the ways she herself could make music. For even though she was a tiny creature—resembling a small butterfly—she possessed the special power of all chimewings: to make music that swelled and flowed out across the spirit realm, reaching countless distant worlds.

  All it took to make music, Omarya discovered, was a single beat of her iridescent lavender wings. That simple motion produced the sweeping sound of a dozen violins. (Of course, learning how to play those violins in tune would take years of practice.) Each time she took a breath, the air rang with peals of bells. And the merest twitch of one antenna made a haunting, flutelike sound that echoed eerily for days.

  Even better, as a harmonic chimewing, she possessed an additional musical power. She could think any sound into reality. All she needed to do was concentrate on whatever she wanted to hear, blink her faceted green eyes, and that very sound would pour out of her head. While this special skill would take time and devotion to master, the possibilities made her little heart flutter with excitement.

  Maybe, she told herself, I could someday become a great bard like my grandfather, invited to perform everywhere.

  At this very moment, Omarya wasn’t trying to make music. She was trying, instead, to practice flying. Just a few moments earlier, she’d left her family to take her first solo flight. Though controlling her wings was hard work, she felt increasingly capable.

  A sudden gust of wind caught her completely by surprise. She reeled, trying to keep herself upright—but the wind knocked her over, spun her around, and carried her helplessly through the swirling mists. She tumbled out of control as the wind carried her farther and farther away.

  Frightened, she made every sound she could, a crashing cacophony of notes and screeches and howls. But the shrieking wind swallowed everything.

  Finally, the wind ceased. She found herself floating among dar
k, shredding clouds, far away from anything she’d ever seen before. The whole region seemed devoid of life, home only to shadows and vapors that felt ominous. Menacing. Frightful.

  Omarya couldn’t possibly have known that she’d been blown to the remotest edge of the spirit realm. And even if she had known . . . she couldn’t have understood the full extent of the dangers.

  Desperately, she released a wailing chorus of notes. Though she made the sound of hundreds of bells, ringing and ringing across the skies, they were just one voice. Her voice. The bells echoed, wavering, the cry of someone very young.

  Very lost.

  Very alone.

  A distant flash of color caught her attention. A cloud, bright red, glowed invitingly. Beating her lavender wings, she drew closer.

  The cloud, while tattered and thin, looked far friendlier than anything else around. Amidst all the shadows and ghostly vapors, it was truly a welcome sight. Its strange red hue glowed warmly, like a wispy firecoal.

  She glided nearer. Just as the very tip of her wing brushed against the cloud—she heard a familiar cry from behind. Her mother!

  Omarya whirled around. She and her mother flew tight circles around each other, an aerial embrace that sent elated sounds reverberating throughout the realm. Chimes rang, horns blew triumphantly, and drums pounded with joy.

  Together, the pair flew off toward home. So relieved and happy was Omarya that she didn’t even glance back for one last look at the luminous cloud. But if she had . . . she would have noticed something strange.

  At the instant her wingtip had brushed against the cloud, its light began to fade. Within seconds, the red glow vanished completely. Meanwhile the cloud itself started to shred, pulling apart like an old shawl whose threads had finally given way to time.

  The cloud disappeared, its light extinguished forever. But more than just a spot of light had been lost from this faraway edge of the spirit realm. Much more than that had been destroyed.

  That luminous cloud was, in fact, part of the great veil woven ages before by Sammelvar and Escholia, the leaders of the spirit realm. The veil’s sacred purpose, to separate the mortal and spirit realms, had taken on great importance in the aftermath of the War of Horrors. In that conflict, the warrior spirit Narkazan had brutally attacked the Earth—the necessary first step to conquering all the mortal worlds in the universe. His invasion caused terrible damage to the Earth and its peoples—as well as the immortals who had fought to protect them.

  Finally, thanks to the heroic sacrifices of countless beings in both realms, Narkazan was defeated. But his hunger for power continued—and grew stronger with his lust for revenge. For not even a dreadful loss in battle—or a headlong plunge into the Maelstrom from which no one before him had ever escaped—was enough to stop him.

  Until now, the only thing that prevented Narkazan from mounting another full-scale attack on the Earth was the veil. Woven from strands of the most powerful magic in the spirit realm, it was designed to shield mortals from another invasion of a large spirit army. And it had done so successfully for many ages.

  Yet the veil’s makers overlooked a different kind of threat. The barrier wasn’t equipped to stop lone individuals, spirits who thought nothing of breaking the law that forbade travel between the realms. Whether they sought the company of someone special in the lands below, or simply craved some tasty food found only on Earth, they discovered holes or made new ones as they passed through, weakening the veil.

  Despite Sammelvar’s pleas, individual spirits—including his son, Promi—continued to pierce the veil. Finally, the veil grew so weak that only the thinnest strands of remaining magic held it together. Sammelvar had grown so worried about its condition (and so eager to prove the point to Promi) that he illuminated the veil with mist fire, lighting up whatever was left with a reddish glow.

  All it took to destroy the veil completely was one last touch from a single being. When Omarya did that, the remaining veil collapsed completely. All the deep magic that had once bound it together dissolved, scattering in all directions.

  That was how, in the farthest reaches of the realm, the most powerful barrier ever created was utterly destroyed. Not by an army of warriors . . . but by the lightest brush of a gentle wing.

  CHAPTER 2

  Rage and Ruin

  Narkazan’s scream of rage erupted from his lair near the spirit realm’s Caverns of Doom. The scream was so loud—and so malicious—that it shattered several enormous icicles hanging from the frozen cloud that hid his lair. Of the icicles that remained intact, many turned a vengeful shade of crimson; others started to drip not water . . . but blood.

  His face, narrow as an ax blade, scowled at the pair of mistwraiths who hovered before him. He shook his head, making his battered black earring clink ominously against one of his tusks. As red as those tusks were, they paled next to the fiery centers of his eyes.

  “Escape!” he snarled. “You allowed that miserable, meddling son of Sammelvar to break in here—and then escape!”

  The mistwraiths trembled fearfully, their forms quaking like shadows within shadows. That was highly unusual, since normally it was the role of the mistwraiths to make everyone else quake with fright. Everyone, that is, except their brutal master, Narkazan. He knew exactly how to punish them with excruciating pain—and, if he chose, to eliminate them completely.

  As the warrior spirit glared at them, both mistwraiths crackled with black sparks. Hovering just above the floor like living blots of darkness, they slid slowly backward until they pressed against the vaporstone wall of the lair. For a long moment, they remained there, held by Narkazan’s gaze.

  “He even killed one of your company—how, I cannot imagine,” Narkazan rasped angrily. “Not only that, he freed my prisoner, his sister the Seer.”

  He waved a bony hand at the empty room that had served as Jaladay’s prison cell. “Her skill at seeing the future would have proved useful in the coming battles.”

  A low growl came from his throat, echoing in the chamber. “Worst of all, he made off with my scrolls—my battle plans! How,” Narkazan demanded, “am I supposed to conduct my War of Glory with those detailed plans now in the hands of my sworn enemy?”

  Bravely, one of the mistwraiths slid forward, spraying black sparks on the floor. Though it still trembled with fright, it managed to make a sound that combined harsh crackling and strangled gurgling.

  Clearly surprised, Narkazan listened intently. Then, in a much quieter voice, he said, “I suppose you’re right. How could I expect you to have stopped him when you weren’t even here when he broke in?”

  The mistwraith sighed with a shower of sparks. It trembled a little less.

  “After all,” continued the warlord softly, “you can’t be expected to be everywhere at once.”

  Turning a shade less dark, the mistwraith ceased trembling altogether.

  “Except,” added Narkazan, his eyes suddenly flashing with rage, “it was your job to protect this place!”

  As Narkazan shouted those words, the mistwraith screeched loudly and started to back away again. But before it could join its companion against the wall, the warlord snapped his wrist and hurled a bolt of black lightning. The mistwraith screeched in utter agony, exploded with a spray of sparks, and vanished completely.

  All that remained of the dark being were a few last sparks. They quivered, sizzling on the floor. Then they, too, disappeared.

  Fixing his gaze on the surviving mistwraith, Narkazan watched it shudder with terror. Finally, he spoke again in the quiet tone that was his most dangerous.

  “Never, never, never fail me. Or your fate will be the same.”

  The mistwraith crackled fearfully. Black sparks charred the vaporstone wall.

  “Good. Now heed this new command.”

  Still trembling, the mistwraith did its best to stand at attention.

  “
Call all the mistwraiths together. Tell them they must divide into two groups—and complete two essential tasks. One group must find that cursed Promi, the son of Sammelvar who bears the mark of the Prophecy on his chest. Yes, find him and bring him to me!”

  The growl returned. “I want him alive, do you understand? Not reduced to ashes as you mistwraiths are so fond of doing. No, I want him to suffer through every pain, every torture, I can possibly devise—until he willingly gives up his spirit life forever.”

  Crackling in assent, the mistwraith bowed.

  “And watch out for that buffoon Grukarr, who claims to serve me but keeps botching his tasks. If he ever gets in your way . . .”—he paused to snap his fingers—“destroy him.”

  The mistwraith gave another bow.

  “The other group,” rasped Narkazan, “must go to that mortal wasteland Earth. Worry not about the veil, for my scouts have confirmed that it can no longer impede us, no matter how large the force. Somewhere down there is the one thing I want most, the most powerful object in any realm.”

  He clenched his jaw, hissing as he exhaled through his teeth. “The Starstone. It is hidden on what mortals call Atlantis—the island with so much magic of its own that it conceals the magic of that treasure. Atlantis will be the very first place on Earth I will invade—to take all its natural magic for my own uses. But first I need you to find the Starstone and bring it straight to me.”

  Glowering at the mistwraith, Narkazan added, “Don’t take more than six of your number, for any more than that will trigger the island’s power to repel invasions—another of Sammelvar’s old curses. But six of you should be more than enough to overpower any foes and find that crystal.”

  Impatiently, he tapped one of his tusks. “That wretched Promi robbed me once of the chance to turn the Starstone into a weapon—the most destructive one in the universe. He will not do so again!”

  Through gritted teeth, the warrior spirit vowed, “And with the corrupted Starstone . . . I shall triumph over all.”

  Bowing again, the mistwraith crackled eagerly.

 
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