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Acorna's People (Acorna Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Filled with adventure and wonder, Acorna's Peoplecontinues the enthralling saga of Acorna, the beautiful, brave, and kindhearted creature known as the Unicorn Girl.

"Welcome Home, Linyaari Child!"

With the help of her "uncles" and the thousands of humans who love and admire her, Acorna has found her true people, the peaceful, telepathic Linyaari. But Acorna still has much to do before she can enjoy her new home. The legendary resting place of the lost Linyaari ancestors has yet ...

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Acorna's People (Acorna Series #3)

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Overview

Filled with adventure and wonder, Acorna's Peoplecontinues the enthralling saga of Acorna, the beautiful, brave, and kindhearted creature known as the Unicorn Girl.

"Welcome Home, Linyaari Child!"

With the help of her "uncles" and the thousands of humans who love and admire her, Acorna has found her true people, the peaceful, telepathic Linyaari. But Acorna still has much to do before she can enjoy her new home. The legendary resting place of the lost Linyaari ancestors has yet to be found. And with the help of a rogue spacetrader and his feline sidekick, Acorna must strive to right an unspeakable wrong and defeat an enemy even crueler than the Khleevi. Along the way, she will at last uncover the Universe's most carefully guarded secret--the true nature of the ancient link between the Linyaari and the space-faring humans she has also come to think of as her "people."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061807923
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Acorna Series , #3
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 82,773
  • File size: 485 KB

Meet the Author

Anne McCaffrey, a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner, was one of the world's most beloved and bestselling science fiction and fantasy writers. She is known for her hugely successful Dragonriders of Pern books, as well as the fantasy series that she cowrote with Elizabeth A. Scarborough that began with Acorna: The Unicorn Girl.


Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is the author of Channeling Cleopatra and the Nebula Award-winning The Healer's War, as well as more than twenty science fiction and fantasy novels. She lives in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.

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Acorna's People

On the planet of Laboue, within the opulent chief residence of Hafiz Harakamian, in one of the hundreds of finely crafted, hand-joined cabinets of rare and lustrous woods in which he kept his smallest and often most precious collectibles, Acorna had once seen a display of brilliantly bejeweled and decorated eggs.. Created hundreds of years ago by a man named Carl Fabergé for the collection of a Russian czar not nearly so wealthy as their present owner, the eggs had dazzled the eyes of the young girl with their richly colored enamels, their gold loops and whorls, their swags and bows of diamonds and glittering gemstones, and their tiny movable parts—the delicately wrought scenes that unfolded from within their interiors.

Now, a fathomless distance from Uncle Hafiz's home and many years later, it seemed to Acorna as if the eggs had magically grown to giant size and lofted themselves into space, where their colors shone even more brilliantly in the blackness of infinity than they had in the memories of her childhood. They formed a festive flotilla visible from the viewport of the Balakiir.

The flotilla had been growing in size since the Balakiireexited the wormhole that deposited them just beyond the atmosphere of narhii-Vhiliinyar, the second Linyaari home world.

The imagery was further borne out by the seemingly endless number of Linyaari space-farers, the denizens of those bright ships, who paraded across the comscreen to welcome the Balakiiredelegation home.

Melireenya introduced Acorna to each of the officers as they appeared on the screen, so that Acorna felt that she was already at one of thereceptions or parties her aunt and Melireenya were threatening to give in order to introduce her to Linyaari society and, most especially, to prospective lifemates. Acorna was so excited by the sight of the egg-like ships and the spectacle of her people's home rotating almost imperceptibly beyond them that she could hardly pay attention to the images on the comscreen.

The Linyaari welcoming her to this world all looked so much like her that they could have been mistaken for her by her human friends. The figures on the comscreen were pale skinned and had golden opalescent spiraling horns growing from their foreheads, topped by manes of silvery hair which continued to grow down their spines. Like her, they had feathery tufts of fine curly white hair adorning their legs from knee to ankle, to just above their two-toed feet. Their hands,like hers, bore only three fingers, each with one joint in the middle and one where the finger met the palm.

After the life she'd led, it was a little overwhelming to beamong so many others of her kind. All of the equipment andutensils she could see and touch were designed for people likeher. Nothing had to be specially adapted to her anatomicalpeculiarities. Nothing about her appearance was unusual to theLinyaari.

However, as like her as these people were, they were all, even her mother's sister and those aboard the Balakiire,still stranger—strangers who took a proprietary interest in her without actually knowing her very well. Although she had ceased to be regarded as a child by the humans she had grown up among, she seemed to be regarded by her Linyaari shipmates as little more than a youngling.

This was a new sensation for her. Acorna had been jettisoned in a life pod from her parents' ship as an infant to save her from the fatal explosion that claimed the lives of her parents and the attacking Khleevi. She'd been rescued soon after and had grown up among humans. Specifically, she had been raised by her three adoptive uncles—Calum Baird, Declan "Gill" Giloglie, and Rafik Nadezda. Back when they'd found her they had been miners working in the far reaches of the human galaxies. These days they'd gone on to other things. Rafik, for example, was now the head of the House of Harakamian, the empire founded by his uncle Hafiz Harakamian,, an uncommonly wily merchant and wealthy collector.

When Acorna had first met Hafiz, he'd wished to add her to his many treasures, to be displayed along with the beautiful Fabergé eggs and the incredibly rare Singing Stones of Skarrness guarding his courtyard. However, her value to Hafiz as a collectible had sharply decreased when Hafiz learned she was not a solitary oddity but merely a member of a populous alien race.

Acorna's relationship with Hafiz, and the one between Hafiz and Rafik, had improved after that to the point that Acorna now used the name Harakamian, along with that of her good and gentle mentor Mr. Li, as a surname. Dear Mr. Li had passed on a few months ago, but the more durable Uncle Hafiz had recently married his second wife and was now enjoying his retirement in her company.

Acorna, along with her uncles and Mr. Li, had succeeded in rescuing the children imprisoned in the camps on Kezdet, a planet whose economy had once depended on the exploitation of child labor. They had been ably assisted in this task by the intelligent and resourceful siblings of the Kendoro family, Pal, Judit, and Mercy, themselves former victims of the camps. Together, Acorna and her friends had been instrumental in changing the planet's laws and ridding it of the Piper, the ringleader responsible for the most heinous of the abuses. They had gone on to establish a mining and teaching facility on one of Kezdet's moons, Maganos, to nurture and educate the children they had rescued from the horrors of the labor camps.

Later, Acorna and her uncle Calum, while trying to locate her home world, had helped quell a mutiny among the Starfarers, human voyagers on a large colony ship. After being forced to watch their parents' murders during the, rebellion, and the subsequent bloodshed, murder, and exploitation that the ship's new masters were intent upon, the children of the ship were able, with Acorna's help, to wrest control from the mutineers and destroy them. In the process, they rescued the famed meteorologist Dr. Ngaen Xong Hoa, and his weather control system. The people who had seized the ship had used Dr. Hoa's new system to destroy the economy and ecology of the newly colonized planet Rushima. The mutineers were spaced by the triumphant youngsters, just as the mutineers had spaced their victims, when the children regained control of the ship.

While returning with Dr. Hoa to repair the damage to Rushima, Acorna, her adoptive family, and the children fell under attack by the Khleevi, a vicious bug-like race responsible for the death of Acorna's parents. Fortunately, Acorna's aunt Neeva and the delegation from narhii-Vhiliinyar had arrived in time to warn everyone of the impending invasion. With Acorna's help, the resources of Kezdet and the Houses of Harakamian and Li had been mobilized to rout the Khleevi.

Acorna's People
. Copyright © by Anne McCaffrey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

One

0n the planet of Laboue, within the opulent chief residence of Hafiz Harakamian, in one of the hundreds of finely crafted, hand-joined cabinets of rare and lustrous woods in which he kept his smallest and often most precious collectibles, Acorna had once seen a display of brilliantly bejeweled and decorated eggs. Created hundreds of years ago by a man named Carl Fabergé for the collection of a Russian czar not nearly so wealthy as their present owner, the eggs had dazzled the eyes of the young girl with their richly colored enamels, their gold loops and whorls, their swags and bows of diamonds and glittering gemstones, and their tiny movable parts -- the delicately wrought scenes that unfolded from within their interiors.

Now, a fathomless distance from Uncle Hafiz's home and many years later, it seemed to Acorna as if the eggs had magically grown to giant size and lofted themselves into space, where their colors shone even more brilliantly in the blackness of infinity than they had in the memories of her childhood. They formed a festive flotilla visible from the viewport of the Balaküre.

The flotilla had been growing in size since the Balaküre exited the wormhole that deposited them just beyond the atmosphere of narhii-Vhiliinyar, the second Linyaari home world.

The imagery was further borne out by the seemingly endless number of Linyaari space-farers, the denizens of those bright ships, who paraded across the comscreen to welcome the Balaküre delegation home.

Melireenya introduced Acorna to each of the officers as they appeared on the screen, so that Acorna felt that she was already at one of the receptions or parties her aunt and Melireenya were threatening to give in order to introduce her to Linyaari society and, most especially, to prospective lifemates. Acorna was so excited by the sight of the egg-like ships and the spectacle of her people's home rotating almost imperceptibly beyond them that she could hardly pay attention to the images on the comscreen.

The Linyaari welcoming her to this world all looked so much like her that they could have been mistaken for her by her human friends. The figures on the comscreen were pale skinned and had golden opalescent spiraling horns growing from their foreheads, topped by manes of silvery hair which continued to grow down their spines. Like her, they had feathery tufts of fine curly white hair adorning their legs from knee to ankle, to just above their two-toed feet. Their hands, like hers, bore only three fingers, each with one joint in the middle and one where the finger met the palm.

After the life she'd led, it was a little overwhelming to be among so many others of her kind. All of the equipment and utensils she could see and touch were designed for people like her. Nothing had to be specially adapted to her anatomical peculiarities. Nothing about her appearance was unusual to the Linyaari.

However, as like her as these people were, they were all, even her mother's sister and those aboard the Balaküre, still strangers -- strangers who took a proprietary interest in her without actually knowing her very well. Although she had ceased to be regarded as a child by the humans she had grown up among, she seemed to be regarded by her Linyaari shipmates as little more than a youngling.

This was a new sensation for her. Acorna had been jettisoned in a life pod from her parents' ship as an infant to save her from the fatal explosion that claimed the lives of her parents and the attacking Khleevi. She'd been rescued soon after and had grown up among humans. Specifically, she had been raised by her three adoptive uncles -- Calum Baird, Declan "Gill" Giloglie, and Rafik Nadezda. Back when they'd found her they had been miners working in the far reaches of the human galaxies. These days they'd gone on to other things. Rafik, for example, was now the head of the House of Harakamian, the empire founded by his uncle Hafiz Harakamian, an uncommonly wily merchant and wealthy collector.

When Acorna had first met Hafiz, he'd wished to add her to his many treasures, to be displayed along with the beautiful Fabergé eggs and the incredibly rare Singing Stones of Skarrness guarding his courtyard. However, her value to Hafiz as a collectible had sharply decreased when Hafiz learned she was not a solitary oddity but merely a member of a populous alien race.

Acorna's relationship with Hafiz, and the one between Hafiz and Rafik, had improved after that to the point that Acorna now used the name Harakamian, along with that of her good and gentle mentor Mr. Li, as a surname. Dear Mr. Li had passed on a few months ago, but the more durable Uncle Hafiz had recently married his second wife and was now enjoying his retirement in her company.

Acorna, along with her uncles and Mr. Li, had succeeded in rescuing the children imprisoned in the camps on Kezdet, a planet whose economy had once depended on the exploitation of child labor. They had been ably assisted in this task by the intelligent and resourceful siblings of the Kendoro family, Pal, Judit, and Mercy, themselves former victims of the camps. Together, Acorna and her friends had been instrumental in changing the planet's laws and ridding it of the Piper, the ringleader responsible for the most heinous of the abuses. They had gone on to establish a mining and teaching facility on one of Kezdet's moons, Maganos, to nurture and educate the children they had rescued from the horrors of the labor camps.

Later, Acorna and her uncle Calum, while trying to locate her home world, had helped quell a mutiny among the Starfarers, human voyagers on a large colony ship. After being forced to watch their parents' murders during the rebellion, and the subsequent bloodshed, murder, and exploitation that the ship's new masters were intent upon, the children of the ship were able, with Acorna's help, to wrest control from the mutineers and destroy them. In the process, they rescued the famed meteorologist Dr. Ngaen Xong Hoa, and his weather control system. The people who had seized the ship had used Dr. Hoa's new system to destroy the economy and ecology of the newly colonized planet Rushima. The mutineers were spaced by the triumphant youngsters, just as the mutineers had spaced their victims, when the children regained control of the ship.

While returning with Dr. Hoa to repair the damage to Rushima, Acorna, her adoptive family, and the children fell under attack by the Khleevi, a vicious bug-like race responsible for the death of Acorna's parents. Fortunately, Acorna's aunt Neeva and the delegation from narhii-Vhiliinyar had arrived in time to warn everyone of the impending invasion. With Acorna's help, the resources of Kezdet and the Houses of Harakamian and Li had been mobilized to rout the Khleevi.

In the course of all this, Acorna had become something of a mistress of disguise, and had used her horn to purify an entire ship's poisoned air and the waters of Rushima as well as to heal the wounded in all of the hostile encounters with which she'd been involved.

This was all quite aside from her abilities to divine by seemingly magical means the mineral content of each individual asteroid her uncles wished to mine, an ability which had earned her their respect while she was still quite young. So Acorna had actually packed a great deal of activity into a relatively short life. Consequently she did not feel particularly childlike most of the time.

Nevertheless, she was a child to her mother's sister Neeva, a Linyaari Envoy Extraordinaire, or visedbaanye ferilii. She was considered a youngling by all the other Linyaari aboard the Balaküre as well: Khaari, the navigation officer or gheraalye malivii in the Linyaari tongue; Melireenya, the senior communications office or gheraaley ve-kbanyii; and Thariinye, the young male whose function was still not exactly clear to Acorna, even after their travels together, but who seemed to think that without him, the mission could not have succeeded. What had been taken by Acorna's human friends for talent was apparently standard issue for her race. And many of the talents the other Linyaari possessed seemed to have been carefully developed. For instance, none of them needed words to communicate with each other and all of them could read the thoughts of the others on the ship -- including hers, a fact which she found rather unnerving at times. She had so very much to learn. Fortunately, if her shipmates were typical examples, her people were kind and forbearing.

"Khornya, this is my counterpart in the Gamma Sector, Visedbaanye Ferilii Taankaril, " Aunt Neeva told Acorna. Khornya was the Linyaari version of Acorna, the name given her by her human "uncles." The introduction pulled her attention once more from the spectacle of the ships outside the viewport. Acorna dipped her horn, as did the Visedbaanye Ferilii, a woman who, like Aunt Neeva, Khaari and Melireenya, was of an indistinguishable age, at least indistinguishable to Acorna.

"Khornya," Aunt Neeva said, nodding to the woman on the comscreen and relaying her thoughts to Acorna, the visedbaanye ferilii is the mother of two handsome sons who have not yet found their lifemates. She regrets that she is about to embark upon a mission, but hopes you will feel free to call upon them for any assistance you need in adjusting to your new home."

Acorna smiled and nodded at the woman again. No actual words had been exchanged between her aunt and the dignitary. Even across the vastness of space, it seemed that the senior space-faring Linyaari could read thoughts. Acorna occasionally felt she was catching on to how it was done, but found the process frustrating even with people standing in front of her. Particularly when they responded to thoughts she would not have voiced, given a choice. But her grasp of the Linyaari tongue was not yet complete and the crew of the Balaküre found the need to communicate with her in spoken words tedious. Neeva assured her she'd get the hang of things soon enough. But Acorna still worried.

And so went her homecoming, with the space around her new home planet dancing with egg-ships full of Acorna-like beings, all of whom seemed curious about the formerly presumed dead daughter of the illustrious Feriila and the valiant Vaanye, all politely inquiring as to where she'd been all this time and what she'd been doing, all seemingly with unmated sons or nephews or widowed fathers and uncles, all shepherding the Balaküre into port and docking alongside her.

Acorna emerged from the Balaküre behind her Aunt Neeva and just ahead of Thariinye to find the docking bay crowded with Linyaari, some even holding a banner aloft. Behind the uniformed Acorna-like space travelers streaming from their ships to add to the party, a mass of multicolored creatures similar in form to the space-farers crowded onto the docking level, strumming, blowing into, pounding upon, brushing, and stamping a variety of musical instruments. The docking bay was filled with strange but wonderfully harmonious and joyous music.

Even before Aunt Neeva could explain, Acorna was overwhelmed with happiness. This was the welcoming committee. They didn't even know her, and they'd brought the brass band and the welcome mat. Aunt Neeva gave her a hug.

"We are all so glad to have you back, Khornya," she said, waving her hand to indicate the smiling Linyaari. Tears came to Acorna's eyes as she nodded an acknowledgment to all those who'd turned out to meet her.

At last she would truly belong. At last she would no longer be an oddity. What a relief that would be. "And I am so glad to be here, Aunt Neeva, " she said. I can't tell you how glad."

Aunt Neeva looked a little puzzled, an expression that seemed common whenever she was dealing with her niece. "But you just did, child," she said. "You just did."

Copyright © 1999 by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    The entire series is great!

    The entire series is great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    Wonderful, enthralling story.

    I bought this book not realizing it was one in a series, and that's my only regret. It's a story that keeps you spellbound, and it made me laugh. My only thought at the end of the book was: 'I really hope there are more of these books!' And to my pleasure, there is! Loveable characters from felines to horse people, and badguys you love to hate. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but this book left me thirsty for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2000

    My Favorite book of all time!

    This book a great book! I think this series should never end. I love ever part of the book and even my friends want to read my copy of Acorna, and they love it. It gets very intresting very quick. Its hard just to even put the book down, to get something to eat. Just read it and you'll know what I mean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2000

    ann mccafery, wonderful as usual

    I absolutley loved this book. Its allwase grate to be able t oescape for a short period of time and have an adventure with some of your favorite characters. this book does exactly that. I find all of ann mccafery's books equally delightfull

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2000

    Great Delight and Moving to Read

    'Acorna's People' is a moving story about Acorna and her people. It explores many aspects of the personalities in a community to make it run effective and not so effective. My heart went out to the injured, I cried.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2000

    An Awesome Book!

    A wonderful book with bright characters. Acorna book are so exciting!

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