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Edgeland
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Edgeland
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An upper-middle grade thriller by the New York Times bestselling Nightfall authors–perfect for fans of James Dashner's Maze Runner books.Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and...
An upper-middle grade thriller by the New York Times bestselling Nightfall authors–perfect for fans of James Dashner's Maze Runner books.Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and...
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  • An upper-middle grade thriller by the New York Times bestselling Nightfall authors–perfect for fans of James Dashner's Maze Runner books.
    Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and night last for 72 hours. Here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.
    Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, a nearby island where people bring their dead to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.
    With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat—with Alec and Wren onboard—is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover beyond the abyss is beyond what anyone could have imagined.
    Includes an original song written and performed by Celia Rose. Visit www.celiarosemusic.com for more.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Chapter One

    Wren walked along the edge of the known world looking for coins to steal. A few coppers would do. A silver piece would be even better. Her escape fund was almost complete, and soon she'd be sailing for the great spice-trading city of Ankora.

    Her eyes darted across the rocks, searching for the dull gleam of metal. She had been doing this for so many years that it had become second nature. It was forbidden, of course, but she had a worthy goal. Leaving Edgeland would mean the end of stealing—from the living, and the dead.

    A spray of mist dampened Wren's face as she gazed off into the Drain: a massive, circular waterfall, almost thirty miles in diameter, into which all the water in the ocean drained. This close, it was hard to see anything but the churning water. On rare occasions, you could see the far side of the waterfall.

    Today the late-afternoon sky was dark with clouds, and visibility was low. After a few seconds, Wren turned away. She wasn't there to gape.

    She was there to work.

    Wren stood on the uppermost level of the Ramparts, an ancient seawall that circled the Drain. There was a road on top with lookouts, and vents at the bottom that allowed water to pass through but kept big ships from being pulled in. Most of the ships that sailed through these waters were headed to Edgeland—a nearby island, which sat just a few miles from the Drain. Wren lived here. It was composed almost entirely of bone houses, which blessed and processed dead bodies.

    A burst of chanting grabbed Wren's attention. Up ahead, a group of religious pilgrims had gathered around a priest. Such scenes were typical on the Ramparts. Suns and Shadows both believed that the Drain was the gateway to the afterlife, and both sent their dead into the Drain. They threw coins into the water, too, hoping the bits of gold and silver would reach their loved ones.

    Once in a while, when Wren was feeling lonely, she'd flick a coin into the Drain for her mother, who'd died four years ago in a boating accident. Wren sometimes liked to picture her down there, in a happy place glimmering with mist. But today she had no time to daydream.

    She gave the pilgrims a wide berth as she passed by. They were Shadows, wearing their customary silver prayer robes. It was unusual to see them during the daylight hours.

    "SINNERS!" their priest yelled. "Turn from evil and em-brace the Shadow, so we can drown the Serpent of Fear."

    The others punched the air with their fists and chanted: "THE SHADOW! THE SHADOW! THE SHADOW!"

    They began passing a cloth-swaddled bundle. It was a baby. Eventually, it came to rest in the hands of the priest—a tall, fat man in a shimmering cloak and ornate silver crown.

    The priest's name was Friderik, though his enemies called him "Fat Freddy." Wren didn't know him personally, but she'd seen him and his followers. People said he was a "firebrand," but as far as Wren could tell, Friderik was nothing more than a bully in fancy robes. To provoke the Suns, he gathered his followers during daylight hours and led them in loud prayers.

    Fat Freddy was playing a dangerous game. In this part of the world—thousands of miles due south from the Polar North—the Rule of Light was strictly observed: During the seventy-two hours of day, the Suns ruled and could do as they pleased, while the seventy-two hours of night belonged to the Shadows.

    Fat Freddy and his Shadows didn't even glance at Wren as she walked past. She looked like nothing more than a poor Sun girl, her frayed yellow cloak draped over her head and body. They would have been shocked to see that...

About the Author-

  • Jake Halpern is an acclaimed journalist, author, and radio producer who has written for several publications including The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. As a contributor at NPR, Jake produced one of the most listened-to episodes of This American Life. He co-wrote the Dormia series with Peter Kujawinski and is the author of Bad Paper, a nonfiction book for adults.
    For eighteen years, Peter Kujawinski was an American diplomat, on assignment in places like Israel, Haiti, France, and at the UN in New York. Most recently, he was the US Consul General in western Canada, which included Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. While working as a diplomat, he started to write for adults and children. He is a contributor to the New York Times, and with coauthor Jake Halpern, Peter wrote Nightfall and the Dormia trilogy (Dormia, World's End, and Shadow Tree). He lives in Chicago with his family.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 20, 2017
    In this intriguing fantasy, two friends discover the secret of life after death as they travel to the realm where people go to await their final fate. Wren is an orphan and thief living on Edgeland, an island that services the Drain, a hole in the ocean into which the deceased are sent. When Wren is framed for murder, she attempts to flee, and she and her best friend Alec are swept through the Drain, ending up in Purgatory. They discover a bizarre community made up of the living and the dead, led by religious leaders who exercise tyrannical control over their subjects. In order to return to the world in which they belong, Alec and Wren must unravel long-hidden secrets and free the trapped spirits. Halpern and Kujawinski provide a fascinating world, and their story is fueled by a strong premise and compelling protagonists, but it doesn’t reach its full potential. As in Nightfall, too many aspects of the setting are left unexplained while the plot rushes ahead at full speed. Ages 10–up. Agent: Tina Bennett, William Morris Endeavor.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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