Beyond the Blue Moon

Beyond the Blue Moon

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by Simon R. Green
     
 

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Years after they saved the Forest Kingdom, Rupert and Julia are called back
It has been many years since the long night of the Blue Moon. King Harald is dead, and chaos reigns in the Forest Kingdom. The long-lost heroes of Blue Moon Rising must return in order to save the nation of their birth—and it may already be too late.
A

Overview

Years after they saved the Forest Kingdom, Rupert and Julia are called back
It has been many years since the long night of the Blue Moon. King Harald is dead, and chaos reigns in the Forest Kingdom. The long-lost heroes of Blue Moon Rising must return in order to save the nation of their birth—and it may already be too late.
A stunning revelation about the true identities of two Haven cops (whom readers will recognize from Green’s popular Hawk & Fisher series) awaits. At long last, revisit the world of the Blue Moon.

A continuation of several of New York Times–bestselling author Simon R. Green’s most beloved series, Beyond the Blue Moon was chosen as one of the year’s best books by Science Fiction Chronicle.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As the best law enforcement team in the sordid town of Haven, swordsman Hawk and his warrior wife, Fisher, fight a daily battle against magical and mundane criminals. When King Harold of the Forest Kingdom dies at the hands of an assassin, however, Hawk and Fisher must resume their former lives--as Prince Rupert and Princess Julia, who had saved the Kingdom from the night of the Blue Moon. Continuing the adventures of a pair of charmingly roguish and intensely honorable heroes, this fast-moving, wisecracking sequel to Blue Moon Rising belongs in most fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781480471955
Publisher:
Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Publication date:
12/17/2013
Series:
Forest Kingdom , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
500
Sales rank:
116,156
File size:
3 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Beyond the Moon

A Forest Kingdom Novel


By Simon R. Green

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 2000 Simon Green
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4804-7195-5



CHAPTER 1

Haunted by the Past


It was spring in Haven, and no one gave a damn. Everywhere else in the world, it was a time for life and love and a joyful new start to all living things; but this was Haven, the infamous rotten apple of the Low Kingdoms. An independent city-state at the arse end of the Southern lands, where swords and sorcery, religion and politics, life and death, were just familiar coins in the everyday trade of a dark and twisted city. Set at the intersection of a dozen thriving trade routes, Haven had blossomed over the years, like the great gaudy bloom of a poisonous flower, and people and creatures of all kinds came in search of the city's many secrets and mysteries. You could find anything at all in Haven, if you were willing to pay the price, which was sometimes gold and sometimes lives, but nearly always, eventually, your soul. Haven; the city of your dreams, including all the bad ones. A place of wonders and horrors and everything in between. Hungry eyes watched from shadowed side streets, not all of them human, not all of them even alive.

In Haven there were glories and mysteries, messiahs and abominations, pleasures and depravities in all their forms. Heroes and villains and a whole lot of people just trying to get through the day. And—just sometimes—a few good men and women, honorable and true, doing their best to hold it all together, punish the guilty and protect the innocent; or at least try to keep the lid on.

Two such were Hawk and Fisher, husband and wife and Captains in the city Guard, possibly the only honest cops left in Haven. They'd never taken a bribe, never looked the other way, and never once given a villain an even break. Unless it was to his arm or leg. They lost as many battles as they won, but they'd won a few big ones in their time, and even saved the whole damned city more than once. It didn't win them promotions, or even much in the way of raises or commendations, because of the many influential enemies they'd made along the way, through their uncomfortable regard for truth and justice. But still they fought the good fight. Because that was who and what they were.

And if sometimes their methods were excessive, and overly violent, and if occasionally it seemed you could always tell where they'd been because they left a trail of bloody corpses behind them ... well, this was Haven, after all.

Their beat was the North Side, the poorest, most desperate, and most dangerous part of the city; and the most dangerous things in that infamous quarter were quite definitely Hawk and Fisher. People tended not to bother them. In fact, people tended to cross to the other side of the street when they saw them coming. Hawk and Fisher had built quite a reputation during their years in Haven, all of it earned the hard way.

Hawk was tall, dark, and no longer handsome. He wore a black silk patch over the empty socket where his right eye had once been, and a series of old scars ran raggedly down the right side of his face, giving him a cold, sinister look. He wore a simple white tunic and trousers under a thick black cloak, his only touch of color a blue silk cravat at his throat.

But still, at first glance he didn't look like much; lean and wiry rather than muscular, and building a stomach. He wore his dark hair at shoulder length, swept back from his forehead and tied at the back with a silver clasp. Thirty-five years old, he already had thick streaks of gray in his hair. It would have been easy to dismiss him as just another bravo, a sword for hire perhaps a little past his prime, but there was a dangerous alertness in the way he carried himself, and the cold gaze of his single dark eye was disturbingly direct and unwavering. On his right hip Hawk carried a short-handled axe instead of a sword. He was very good with that axe. He'd had a lot of practice.

Fisher walked at his side as though she belonged there, and always had. Thirty-two years old, easily six feet in height, her long blond hair fell to her waist in a single thick plait, weighted at the tip with a polished steel ball. She was handsome rather than beautiful, with a raw-boned harshness to her face that contrasted strongly with her deep blue eyes and generous mouth. She dressed in pure white and black, just like Hawk, without even the softening touch of a cravat. She left her shirt half unbuttoned to show a generous amount of bosom, mostly to distract her opponents. She wore her shirt sleeves rolled up above the elbow, revealing arms corded with muscle and lined with old scars. She wore a sword on her hip, as simple and unadorned as a butcher's tool, and her hand rarely strayed far from it.

Some time ago something had scoured all the human weaknesses out of her, and it showed.

Hawk and Fisher; partners, warriors, reluctant heroes. Because somebody had to be. They tended not to get the ordinary, run-of-the-mill assignments. They got the hardest, weirdest, most dangerous cases, because Hawk and Fisher were who you turned to when you'd tried everything else, including closing your eyes and hoping it would just go away. Even so, the early hours of this particular morning promised an unusual case, even for them.

"I can't believe they're sending us to sort out a haunted house," said Fisher, kicking moodily at some garbage in the street that didn't get out of her way fast enough. "Do I look like an exorcist?"

"It would seem more a job for a priest," said Hawk, just to keep the peace. "But if it means spending the coldest hours of the morning inside a nice warm mansion, with perhaps a nice cup of mulled wine and some civilized finger food close at hand, well, a man must go where duty calls. I can knock on walls and wave crucifixes around with the best of them. Ghosts always pick the biggest and most expensive houses to manifest in—have you noticed that?"

Fisher sniffed, staring straight ahead. "You're the one who reads those stories. I'm not sure I even believe in ghosts. We've run up against more than our fair share of weird shit in our time, from vampires and werewolves to Beings of Power from the Street of Gods, but we've never come across a single haunting. Hell, considering the number of people we've had cause to kill over the years, if there were such things as ghosts, we'd be hip deep in them by now."

"Well, whatever it is that's upsetting the Hartley family, they're apparently sufficiently well connected to put pressure on our superiors, so we get the job of sorting it out. Probably turn out to be nothing more than a few squeaky floorboards and a case of bad conscience, and we'll just get to sit around in comfort waiting for something spooky to show up. Preferably while picking through a nice selection of cold cuts, and perhaps a little garlic sausage. In chunks. On sticks. I could really go for some garlic sausage right now."

Fisher looked at him for the first time, and sighed heavily. "I don't know why I bother putting you on diets. You never stick to them. You've no self-control at all, have you? I've seen hibernating bears with less of a paunch on them."

Hawk glared at her. "It's all right for you. You can eat anything you like, and never put on a pound. I only have to look at a chocolate cookie and my waistline goes out another inch. It was turning thirty that did it. I should have never agreed to it. It's all been downhill ever since. I'll be wearing slippers next."

"And you wouldn't even touch those nice nut cutlets I made specially for you."

"Let us talk about the haunting," said Hawk determinedly. "Suddenly it seems a far more profitable subject for conversation. The Hartley house is right on the edge of the North Side, where things become almost civilized. Proper street lighting and everything. Family made its money in ornamental boot-scrapers, and other similar useful items. If you've ever scraped shit off your boot in this city, you've put money in a Hartley's pocket. The trouble started when the head of the family, one Appleton Hartley, finally and very reluctantly died of old age, and his heirs took over the family house and business. The ghost started acting up the moment they moved in. Spectral apparitions, unearthly noises—(though how those differ from earthly noises has never been clear to me)—and foul and appalling odors. If it was me, I'd just check the drains, but ... Anyway, the disturbances have been going on nonstop ever since, and none of the Hartley family have been able to get any sleep for four nights running. This has apparently made them somewhat cranky, and very determined to find an answer for the haunting, which is where we come in. So, as well as everything else, we are now officially ghostbusters, licensed to kick ectoplasmic arse. Acting unpaid, of course."

"Oh, of course." Fisher sniffed again. She could put a lot of emotion into a good sniff when she had a mind to. "All right, lead me to the ghost. I'll tie its sheet in knots, and then maybe we can get back to some real work."


The Hartley house turned out to be a quiet, unremarkable, three-story house in good repair, not obviously different from any of its neighbors, and set halfway down Hedgesparrow Lane. The house was still in the North Side, and miles from anything even remotely like the countryside, but that was creeping gentrification for you. The street as a whole seemed calm and civilized, even modestly salubrious. Hawk and Fisher strolled down the well-lit street as though they owned it, and the few private guards in their special and highly colorful uniforms found pressing reasons to look the other way. They weren't being paid enough to mess with Hawk and Fisher. In fact, there wasn't that much money in Haven.

The current owners and reluctant occupiers of the Hartley house were standing outside the closed front door, waiting for them. Hawk and Fisher had been briefed on the current crop of Hartleys. Leonard and Mavis Hartley were both in their early forties, plumply prosperous and dressed to within an inch of what was currently fashionable. It didn't suit them. Leonard was the taller, with a shiny bald head and a rather unfortunate attempt at a mustache. His hands jumped nervously up and down the buttons on his vest, unable to settle. His wife, Mavis, was shorter and stouter, with a fixed glare and a jutting chin that gave new meaning to the word determined. Hawk had an uneasy suspicion that she might just dart forward and bite him somewhere painful if he was insufficiently courteous.

Their son, Francis, stood behind his parents as though embarrassed to be there. Tall and thin and more than fashionably pale, he wore his long stringy hair in curled ringlets, and was tightly buttoned inside an old-fashioned black outfit, trimmed here and there with black lace. There was just a hint of mascara around his eyes. Hawk knew his sort immediately. One of those decadent Romantics who wrote bad poetry about death and decay, and held private absinthe parties for his equally gloomy friends. Considered vampires the epitome of Romance (because he'd never met one), held secret seances, and thought himself frightfully daring and rebellious for dipping a toe into such dark waters.

An idiot, basically.

Hawk and Fisher strode up the path to the house, kicking gravel out of their way, and crashed to a halt in front of the Hartleys, who immediately fell back a pace and started looking around for their private guards. Hawk introduced himself and his partner, and the Hartleys' faces became an interesting study in contradictions, as relief and alarm fought it out in plain view. Relief that the Guard had finally sent someone to help them with their problem, and alarm because ... well, because it was Hawk and Fisher.

"You won't break anything valuable, will you?" asked Leonard Hartley. "Only there's a lot of really expensive items in this house. Irreplaceable items. Apart from the sentimental value, of course."

"Expensive items!" snapped Mavis Hartley. "Tell him about the porcelain figures, Leonard!"

"Yes, the porcelain figures—"

"Are very fragile!" said Mavis. "And don't even go near the glass cabinets. Those collections took years to put together. Any breakages will come out of your salaries."

"Any breakages—" began Leonard.

"Tell them about the ghost!"

"I was just going to tell them about the ghost, Mavis!"

"Don't raise your voice to me, Leonard Hartley! I remember you when you were just a milliner's assistant! Mother always said I married beneath me."

"I was a very high-class milliner's assistant ..."

This argument seemed quite capable of maintaining itself without any intervention from Hawk and Fisher, so they turned to the son, Francis. He goggled at them with his slightly protuberant eyes, folded his long slender fingers together across his sunken chest, and smiled dolefully.

"What can you tell us about the haunting?" asked Hawk, raising his voice to be heard above the ongoing fight between Leonard and Mavis.

"Oh, I think it's all frightfully fascinating. Gosh! An actual intrusion from the worlds beyond. I'm one of the children of the night, you know. A lost soul, dedicated to act on all the darker muses. A seeker on the shores of Oblivion. I've published verses in some almost very well-known journals. You won't hurt the ghost, will you? I've tried talking to it, but I don't seem to be getting through. I've tried reading it my poetry, but it just vanishes. I think it's shy. I wouldn't mind being haunted myself, I mean, it's just so empowering to be able to just casually drop into the conversation with the other children of the night that I have personally encountered a lost spirit of the night.... All my friends are so jealous. If only the ghost would just let me get some sleep.... I mean, I may be a night person, but there are limits."

"Never mind him, Captain!" said Leonard Hartley, trying hard to sound authoritative, and not even coming close.

"Oh, Daddy, really!"

"That's right, Leonard," said Mavis. "You talk to them. Take control of the situation."

"I am telling them, Mavis—"

"Well, get on with it! Be a man! You pay taxes ..."

Hawk and Fisher looked at each other, and then strode past the Hartleys. Anything useful they got from these people would in all probability turn out to be not worth the trouble and time it took to extract it, so they might just as well get on with the job. The front door looked perfectly ordinary. Hawk turned the heavy silver door handle, and pushed the door open. It receded smoothly before him, without even a hint of a creaking hinge. So much for tradition. Hawk and Fisher strode forward into the main hall. Gas lights flickered high up on the walls. All seemed calm and still. There were wood-paneled walls, thick carpeting on the floor, delicate antique furniture waxed and polished to within an inch of its life, and a few noncontroversial scenes of country life hanging on the walls directly below the lights. Hawk shut the door behind him. The continuing raised voices of the Hartleys were cut off immediately, and it was suddenly, blessedly, quiet.

"At least it's warm in here," said Fisher. "Where do we start?"

"Good question. Apparently there's no obvious focus for the hauntings. The ghost comes and goes as it pleases." Hawk looked about him. "I suppose ... we check the rooms one by one until either we find something, or something finds us. Then we ... do something about it."

"Such as?"

"I'm considering the matter."

"Oh, good. I feel so much more secure now."

And then they both spun around, weapons drawn in an instant, as the sound of approaching footsteps suddenly broke the quiet. It only took them a moment to realize that something was descending the main stairs at the end of the hall. Hawk and Fisher started slowly forward, their faces grim and focused on the situation at hand. They stopped at the bottom of the stairs, took one look at the garish vision bearing implacably down on them, and decided they'd gone quite far enough. A tall, heavy set woman wrapped in gaudy if somewhat threadbare robes crashed to a halt in front of them. She had a wild friz of dark curly hair above a face covered in so much makeup, it was almost impossible to discern her true features. Her mouth was a wide scarlet gash, and her eyes were bright and piercing. She had shoulders as wide as a docker's, and hands to match. She looked large and solid and all too horribly real. She fixed Hawk with a terrible stare, held out a shaking scarlet-nailed hand, and spoke in deep sepulchral tones.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Beyond the Moon by Simon R. Green. Copyright © 2000 Simon Green. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Simon R. Green is the New York Times–bestselling author of Blue Moon RisingBeyond the Blue Moon, the Adventures of Hawk & Fisher, the Novels of the Nightside, the Secret Histories Novels, and the Ghost Finders Novels. He is a resident of Bradford-on-Avon in England.

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Beyond the Blue Moon 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down! Takes surprising of twists and turns. I couldn't believe who Harald's killer was! I'd recommend it!
harstan More than 1 year ago
He was a prince second in line to the throne. She was a princess, a pawn for her father's manipulation. They met during the Blue Moon, a time when evil rules and demons dance in the forest. The humans fled to the heart of the Darkwood where they fought the Demon Prince. They ultimately triumphed but the cost in lives and devastated land is astronomical.

Prince Rubert and Princess Julla, weary from the war, travel to the Southern city-state of Haven, a cesspool of criminal activity. They hide their royal background and become Hawk and Fisher, captains in the local police force. They successfully fought against crime for a dozen years, but the forest calls out to them when someone assassinates the monarch causing the people to slide into chaos. They return to the forest as Hawk and Fisher in order to uncover the identity of the king's killer and defeat the latest threat to the well being of their people.

Roc has reprinted the famous fantasy classic BEYOND THE BLUE MOON so that a new generation of fans can enjoy the action and adventure of a great sword and sorcery tale. What makes this novel stand out among its numerous peers is the lead charcaters whose love and commitment to one another in the midst of epic escapades keeps them grounded in humanity. Simon R. Green's work still holds up as a strong relationship fantasy saga.

Harriet Klausner

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djabko More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of the nightside series you must read this book. There is a whole bunch of small facts that about the nightside in this book. Great Book. Great Author.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book. From begining to ending it is a book that you will never want to but down. This is one of my favorite book that I have read. New people and new problems...just an amazing book all around. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sub Par novel when compared to the original Blue Moon Rising. Novel builds upon Hawk and Fisher novels which are good but not spectacular (in my humble opinion)in comparison to some of his earlier works. Still the novel is a good quick read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As soon as I saw this book I picked it up. I enjoyed it so much that I did nothing else on Thanksgiving Day than read it. It's awesome. Simon R. Green's classic style of wit, humor, and intelligence. This book expands on the adventures of Hawk and Fisher, err Rupert and Julia. Hawk's brother, the King, is murdered and Hawk heads home after a 12 yr. self-exile to find out why. This book is filled with memorable characters, such as Chappie the dog, the mysterious Magus, and of course Julia and Rupert. This book comes highly recomended. I just hope that Simon R. Green comes out with another one soon.
sunsetrider More than 1 year ago
I collect Simon R. Green books. I think he's great. But this was almost a complete reprint of another book put out under a different name. Very unhappy, Mr. Green, shame, shame, shame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buh bye now.........brother
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zekk has godsblood which meas you can be his gf. Mystery