Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of Warby Clive Barker
Candy Quackenbush's adventures in the amazing world of the Abarat are getting more strange by the hour. Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, has sent his henchman to capture her. Why? she wonders. What would Carrion want with a girl from Minnesota? And why is Candy beginning to feel that the world of Abarat is familiar to her? Why can she speak/i>/i>… See more details below
Candy Quackenbush's adventures in the amazing world of the Abarat are getting more strange by the hour. Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, has sent his henchman to capture her. Why? she wonders. What would Carrion want with a girl from Minnesota? And why is Candy beginning to feel that the world of Abarat is familiar to her? Why can she speak words of magic she doesn't even remember learning?
There is a mystery here. And Carrion, along with his fiendish grandmother Mater Motley, suspects that whatever Candy is, she could spoil their plans to take control of the Abarat.
Now Candy's companions must race against time to save her from the clutches of Carrion, and she must solve the mystery of her past before the forces of Night and Day clash and Absolute Midnight descends upon the islands.
A final war is about to begin. And Candy is going to need to make some choices that will change her life forever....
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Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
By Clive Barker
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Clive Barker
All right reserved.
Freaks, Fools and Fugitives
After a battle lasting many ages,
The Devil won,
And he said to God
(who had been his Maker):
We are about to witness the unmaking of Creation
By my hand.
I would not wish you
to think me cruel,
So I beg you, take three things
From this world before I destroy it.
Three things, and then the rest will be
God thought for a little time.
And at last He said:
"No, there is nothing."
The Devil was surprised.
"Not even you, Lord?" he said.
And God said:
"No. Not even me."
-- From Memories of the World's End
(Christopher Carrion's favorite poem)
Let's get our photograph taken," Candy said to Malingo. They were walking down a street in Tazmagor, where -- this being on the island of Qualm Hah -- it was Nine O'clock in the Morning. The Tazmagorian market was in full swing, and in the middle of all this buying and selling a photographer called Guumat had set up a makeshift studio. He'd hung a crudely painted backcloth from a couple of poles and set his camera, a massive device mounted on a polished wood tripod, in front of it. His assistant, a youth who shared his father's coxcomb hair and lightly striped blue-and-black skin, was parading a board on which examples of Guumat the Elder's photos were pinned.
"You like to be pictured by the great Guumat?" the youth said to Malingo. "He make you look real good."
Malingo grinned. "How much?"
"Two paterzem," said the father, gently pressing his offspring aside so as to close the sale.
"For both of us?" Candy said.
"One picture, same price. Two paterzem."
"We can afford that," Candy said to Malingo.
"Maybe you like costumes. Hats?" Guumat asked them, glancing at them up and down. "No extra cost."
"He's politely telling us we look like vagabonds," Malingo said.
"Well, we are vagabonds," Candy replied.
Hearing this, Guumat looked suspicious. "You can pay?" he said.
"Yes, of course," said Candy, and dug in the pocket of her brightly patterned trousers, held up with a belt of woven biffel-reeds, and pulled out some coins, sorting through them to give Guumat the paterzem.
"Good! Good!" he said. "Jamjam! Get the young lady a mirror. How old are you?" "Almost sixteen, why?"
"You wear something much more ladylike, huh? We got nice things. Like I say, no extra charge."
"I'm fine. Thank you. I want to remember this the way it really was." She smiled at Malingo. "Two wanderers in Tazmagor, tired but happy."
"That's what you want, that's what I give you," Guumat said.
Jamjam handed her a little mirror and Candy consulted her reflection. She was a mess, no doubt about it. She'd cut her hair very short a couple of weeks before so she could hide from Houlihan among some monks on Soma Plume, but the haircut had been very hurried, and it was growing out at all angles.
"You look fine," Malingo said.
"So do you. Here, see for yourself."
She handed him the mirror. Her friends back in Chickentown would have thought Malingo's face -- with his deep orange hide and the fans of leathery skin to either side of his head -- fit only for Halloween. But in the time they'd been traveling together through the islands, Candy had come to love the soul inside that skin: tenderhearted and brave.
Guumat arranged them in front of his camera.
"You need to stand very, very still," he instructed them. "If you move, you'll be blurred in the picture. So, now let me get the camera ready. Give me a minute or two." "What made you want a photograph?" Malingo said from the corner of his mouth.
"Just to have. So I won't forget anything."
"As if," said Malingo.
"Please," said Guumat. "Be very still. I have to focus."
Candy and Malingo were silent for a moment.
"What are you thinking about?" Malingo murmured.
"Being on Yzil, at Noon."
"Oh yes. That's something we're sure to remember."
"Especially seeing her . . ."
"The Princess Breath."
Now, without Guumat requesting it, they both fell silent for a long moment, remembering their brief encounter with the Goddess on the Noon-Day island of Yzil. Candy had seen her first: a pale, beautiful woman in red and orange standing in a patch of warm light, breathing out a living creature, a purplish squid. This, it was said, was the means by which most of the species in the Abarat had been brought into Creation. They had been breathed out by the Creatrix, who had then let the soft wind that constantly blew through the trees and vines of Yzil claim the newborn from her arms and carry them off to the sea.
"That was the most amazing -- "
"I'm ready!" Guumat announced from beneath the black cloth he'd ducked under. "On the count of three we take the picture. One! Two! Three! Hold it! Don't move! Don't move! Seven seconds." He lifted his head out from under the cloth and consulted his stopwatch. "Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. That's it!" Guumat slipped a plate into his camera to stop the exposure. "Picture taken! Now we have to wait a few minutes while I prepare a print for you."
"No problem," Candy said.
"Are you going down to the ferry?" Jamjam asked her.
"Yes," said Candy.
"You look like you've been on the move."
"Oh, we have," said Malingo. "We've seen a lot in the last few weeks, traveling around."
"I'm jealous. I've never left Qualm Hah. I'd love to go adventuring."
A minute later Jamjam's father appeared with the photograph, which was still wet. "I can sell you a very nice frame, very cheap."
"No, thanks," said Candy. "It's fine like this."
She and Malingo looked at the photograph. The colors weren't quite true, but Guumat caught them looking like a pair of happy tourists, with their brightly colored, rumpled clothes, so they were quite happy.
Photograph in hand, they headed down the steep hill to the harbor and the ferry.
"You know, I've been thinking . . ." Candy said as they made their way through the crowd.
"Seeing the Princess Breath made me want to learn more. About magic."
"Come on, Malingo! Teach me. You know all about conjurations -- "
"A little. Just a little."
Excerpted from Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker Copyright © 2005 by Clive Barker.
Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Abarat felt like an old fashioned travelogue, a book written solely to describe the people and the places that Candy encountered in her travels. Instead of advancing a story, the focus of each new chapter was seemingly to top the one before in terms of magic, weirdness, and the surreal. I found that I could put it down for weeks at a time (something I've never been able to do with a Barker book before), pick it back up, and effortlessly resume mid-paragraph. Not only that, but it felt . . . well, childish. I realise it's meant as a young adult read, but so was The Thief of Always, and that was an all-night, single-setting read for me. Fortunately, it seems Barker got the `Disney' out of his system with Abarat, and is back to doing what he does best with Days of Magic, Nights of War. It's still a story of magic, weirdness, and the surreal, but it's just that - a real story. Here, we get into the thick of the plot, exploring who Candy really is, what brought her to the Abarat, and what role she has to play in its future. Things actually happen in this second volume, and there are consequences for all of it. What's more, this is a much darker story than the first, allowing Barker's imagination to shine. The first book hinted at the evils of Christopher Carrion, and showed us glimpses of Mater Motley's cruelty, but really restrained them. Here, Barker lets them loose, exposing their plans for the Abarat, and confronting us with the depths of their hatred, their cruelty, and their selfish vindictiveness. There's a very real tension to this volume, a palatable sense of dread and danger that was missing from the first. As a result, I felt an emotional attachment to the characters that I hadn't been able to form in the first, compelling me to read on, to cheer their triumphs, and to mourn their losses. I also liked the fact that we returned to the `real' world in this book. I think it was the development of events outside the Abarat, and the progression of the stories there added something to the book I didn't realise was lacking. Maybe it's the contrast, or maybe it's the connection, but returning to Chickentown turned this from a good read to a great one. There's still a wonderful fairy tale of fable feel to the Abarat, especially with the developing backstory and the new aspects of the mythology, and I hope Barker never loses that. However, I like this darker turn towards events of significance, and I really hope Absolute Midnight carries that forward. Of course, if you've read the series then you understand that the title alone promises things aren't about to get happy any time soon.
Another great CliveBarker book!
This book is amazingly unique. Barker's ability to create and to inspire the imagination makes for a thrilling book. The language may start out a bit simple, but once the story gets rolling you find yourself lost in this book. I would recomend it to anyone.
Its nice to get away sometimes and be a part of a different world, the books of Abarat definitely do that, strange worlds, strange combinations in animals and some people, just read and let your imagination do the work.
"So, you want to be my boyfriend?!" She asked in disbelief. Gtg. Bbt in 1 hour and 30 minutes or less.
Love it! The whole series is captivating and imaginative. I read all three books in a weeks time. I can't wait for books 4 and 5
In my opinion, this was the best book of the series so far. I ate the whole thing up in a week (which is the speed of light, reading wise for me). Although I recommend that as you read this copy of the book, try to find the illustrations somehow (although coming up with your images as well is fun). I believe they are on Clive Barker's website. (***Possible Spoilers***) The Good: -The Pacing—all the events happen with just the perfect amount of detail, dialogue, and action making the book a delightful breeze to read. There isn't ever a time when the book drags. -Characters—If you read the first book, which is sort of mandatory to understand some detail in the book, such as Candy, Malingo, Christopher Carrion, Kasper Wolfswinkel, The Mischief Brother's, and all the other great character's, are brought to life on the page and their stories carry on so to me they were sort of like long lost friends. -Plot—the plot flows flawlessly and most questions are answered, but others aren't which will in upcoming books. -Writing Style The Bad: The only bad parts of this book is sometimes during some scenes like when Candy is fighting The Criss-Cross Man with the monkey Filth or when she is fighting the dragon like-creatures (I forgot their true names) on the boat can get rather confusing. Beside that I couldn't find any other bad things. I HIGHLY recommend you BUY THIS BOOK!!!
The journey into the fantastic world that Abarat is continues! This book was an excellent continuation. I highly suggest that you buy and read!
I have read many books by Clive Barker and picked this series up thinking it was his usual "Adult" novel. While it is geared toward teens and young adults, it is just as good as his hard core stuff. Definately worth the money and I will be getting Book 3 shortly.
The Abarat series is one of my favorites, made many friends read them and not one was let down. I also recommended them to some of my students who also fell in love. Its all about the paintings!! they are really amazing. cant wait to read the next 3 books!
It really is a beautiful book. All of Clive Barkers paintings that are about the story are in it as well as his poetry. The characters you will just love to love and love to hate. Barker created a very stunning world and it really is hard to put the book down.
Clive Barker has written many great books but by my opion, this series is the bets work hes done! I absolutely love how he made Candy's personality so independant and strong minded and fierce! Gorgossium's residents dont stand a chance!!!!!!!!