Science Matthew Skelton Endymion Spring

ISBN 13: 9780141382395

Endymion Spring

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9780141382395: Endymion Spring

IN THE DEAD of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snowcovered streets. The chest can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.
Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is wordless, but fine veins run through its pages, and they seem to quiver, as if alive. Words begin to appear in the book--words only the boy can see.

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About the Author:

Matthew Skelton was born in England and grew up in Canada. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Oxford University. Endymion Spring is his debut novel. The author lives in UK and Canada.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Blake checked his watch—thirty-six minutes—and sighed.

He tried walking backwards now, tapping the books in reverse order, to see if this would help pass the time.
A series of stern-looking portraits glared down at him from the walls. Like magicians, they were dressed in dark capes and had sharp, pointy beards. Elaborate ruffs, like squashed chrysanthemums, burst from their collars. The older men had jaded eyes and tortoise-like skin, but there were also a few pale-faced boys like himself. He glanced at their nameplates: Thomas Sternhold (1587–1608); Jeremiah Wood (1534–1609); Isaac Wilkes (1616–37); Lucius St. Boniface de la Croix (1599–1666). Each man was holding a small book and pointing to a relevant passage with a forefinger, as though reminding future generations to remain studious and well-behaved.

Blake disregarded their frowns of disapproval and continued running his fingers along the books, rapping the spines with the back of his knuckles.

All of a sudden, he stopped.

One of the volumes had struck him back! Like a cat, it had taken a playful swipe at his fingers and ducked back into hiding. He whisked his hand away, as though stung.
He looked at his fingers, but couldn’t see anything unusual. They were smeared with dust, but there was no obvious mark or injury on his skin. Then he looked at the books to see which one had leaped out at him, but they all seemed pretty ordinary, too. Just row upon row of crumbly old volumes, like toy soldiers in leather uniforms standing to attention—except that one of them had tried to force its way into his hand.

He sucked on his finger thoughtfully. A thin trail of blood, like a paper cut, was forming where the book had nicked his knuckle.

All around him the library was sleeping in the hot, still afternoon. Shafts of sunlight hung in the air like dusty curtains and a clock ticked somewhere in the distance, a ponderous sound that seemed to slow down time. Small footsteps crept along the floorboards above. That was probably his sister, Duck, investigating upstairs. But no one else was around.
Only Mephistopheles, the college cat, a sinewy black shadow with claws as sharp as pins, was sunbathing on a strip of carpet near the window and he only cared about one thing: himself.
As far as Blake could tell, he was entirely alone. Apart, that is, from whatever was lurking on the shelf.

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