T.A. Barron was a Princeton grad, a Rhodes Scholar, and a highly successful business man before he returned to his true love: books for children. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the Merlin Saga, the Heartlight Saga, Tree Girl, The Hero's Trail, and many picture books. He has also created a Young Heros Award that rewards children who are heroic in their communities with a monetary prize for their achievements. He’s an environmental activist and is on the board of many corporations and charities. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, five children, two dogs and two goats. www.tabarron.com
A Distant Melody That morning, you had no idea of all the momentous changes to come. Very soon, you learned. And then you traded your life and everything you ever loved for that little bit of magica truly terrible price. And I am to blame for it.
An entry in her journal
The only thing still with him from childhood was not a thing at all.
It wasn’t a knife, a bracelet, or a stitch of clothing. All Promi had from those days, the only thing that had survived his years on the streets of the holy City, was the barest hint of a song.
Promi leaned back against the mud-brick wall, just off the crowded street, his whole body hidden by shadow. Ignoring the mad bustle of people, wooden carts, and goatherds on the cobblestones, he tried to listennot with his ears, but with some inner sense that reached back to the time before memory. At first, he heard only silence, a hard, cold silence that surrounded him as completely as a block of ice.
Then came a lone, quivering note . . . followed by another. And another. And another.
He felt warmer, freer, with every note. They swelled inside him, filling him with a distant, haunting melody. He grinned, feeling renewed.
Gone! The small scrap of song vanished. But it left him, as always, with a sense that he’d first heard it long ago. And with a vague, lingering feeling of comfort that he couldn’t begin to describe.
Did the song also come with the hazy memory of a mother’s embrace? Her warm touch on his cheek? He shook his head, unsure, swishing his long black hair against his shoulders.
Clear out! Move aside, all of you!”
The command from a temple guard rang in the street. People and goats scurried to get out of the way, as did a pair of geese who had only just landed on the cobblestones. Villagers poured into alleyways or pressed themselves against mud-brick wallsanything to avoid the approaching troop of guards.
Despite all the commotion, Promi merely raised his head. Casually, he surveyed the troop of six temple guards, all of whom wore perilous curved swords and fearsome expressions. But his gaze moved right past the guards to the priest who walked behind them.
Wearing a gold-embroidered shirt and billowy pants made of the finest white silk, the priest strode purposefully, almost regally. Upon his head sat a white turban, long a sign of authority in this country. His brown eyes scanned the villagers with obvious disdain. With one hand resting on his jeweled belt buckle and the other fingering his necklace of golden beads, he looked even more imperious than his guards. Grukarr
, thought Promi. The Deputy High Priest himself. Time we met, don’t you agree?
Without taking his eyes off the priest, Promi shifted, planting his feet in an experienced knife-thrower’s stance. Still hidden by shadow, he lowered his left hand and drew his dagger from its sheath. He willed his heartbeat to slow down, as he’d done so many times before. Every part of his body felt under control, like a perfectly synchronized clock.
From T.A. Barron, the New York Times bestselling author of the Merlin Saga, comes a new fantasy world about the origins of Atlantis, perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Eragon, The Beyonders and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
In a magical land called Ellegandia, a young boy named Promi scrapes by, stealing pies, cakes and sweets to survive. But little does he know that his country is a pawn in an ages-old war between good and evil, battled both in the spirit realm and in the human world. Harboring secrets of his own, Promi teams up with a courageous girl named Atlanta and the two vow to save their
landand each otherno matter the cost. But their vow has greater repercussions than they ever could imaginein fact, it may just bring about the creation of Atlantis, an island cut off from the rest of the world, where magic reigns supreme.
With his trademark action, adventure, and poignancy,master of fantasy, T.A. Barron explores a new mythologythe origin of the legendary isle of Atlantis. This book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, Christopher Paolini and, of course, T. A. Barron’s Merlin Saga.
Praise for T. A. Barron’s novels:
Brilliant, significant, and illuminating . . . an intense and profoundly spiritual adventure.”Lloyd Alexander
A crescendo of miracles.”Madeleine L’Engle
Interesting and august . . . compelling.”The New York Times
In the best tradition . . . classic.”Parents Magazine