Demon Witch: Book II: The Ravenscliff Seriesby Geoffrey Huntington
Long before the days of Madman Jackson Muir, a witch named Isobel the Apostate made war upon her fellow sorcerers, the noble order of the Nightwing. Backed by an army of bloodthirsty demons, she became the most feared woman in all of Europe, even challenging King Henry VIII for the throne of England. Burned at the stake for her crimes, Isobel vowed to return and… See more details below
Long before the days of Madman Jackson Muir, a witch named Isobel the Apostate made war upon her fellow sorcerers, the noble order of the Nightwing. Backed by an army of bloodthirsty demons, she became the most feared woman in all of Europe, even challenging King Henry VIII for the throne of England. Burned at the stake for her crimes, Isobel vowed to return and conquer the world.
She kept her word. And now that she is back, the only person who can prevent hell on earth is fourteen-year-old Devon March.
In Demon Witch, the second thrilling installment of the Ravenscliff Series, Devon must summon all of his strength and courage to fight the evil Isobel and her demon horde, who aim to open the Hellhole beneath Ravenscliff and free the beasts within. As Devon's Nightwing powers grow and he discovers more of the secrets of his past, life at Ravenscliff takes another unu-sual turn when a long-lost member of the family returns -- with a beautiful and charming surprise. This new arrival will put Devon's blossoming relationship with Cecily to the test, and challenge his friendships with D.J., Alexander, and even his mentor, Rolfe -- all of whom he will need to thwart the diabolical plans of Isobel.
In a battle that takes him from modern-day Ravenscliff to Tudor England and back again, Devon March must unleash the Nightwing power within him and call upon friendships in the strangest of places to stand against an evil that has waited five centuries for revenge. For at Ravenscliff, friends come in all sizes and shapes -- and enemies are everywhere.
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Demon WitchBook II: The Ravenscliff Series
By Geoffrey Huntington
Harper Collins PublishersCopyright © 2003 Geoffrey Huntington All right reserved. ISBN: 006001427X
The New Caretaker
For several seconds the wind howling through the trees sounds like the tortured scream of a woman, overwhelming everything else.
Devon March listens. There's another sound. A sound behind the wind.
A car's engine. Tires spinning.
Trudging up the long cliffside driveway that leads to the great house of Ravenscliff, Devon has suddenly found himself caught in a fierce winter storm. The snow comes down in sheets; in just a few moments the driveway has become slick with ice. Just a couple hours ago, when Devon headed down into the village, the afternoon was calm. The storm arrived suddenly, with a terrible severity, as storms here always do. Why else, as the people of the village below like to say, would the place be called Misery Point?
Now, through the snow, Devon strains to see where the sound is coming from. Only a few yards ahead of him, half obscured in the swirling whiteness, is a car - an old black Cadillac by the looks of it. Its wheels are indeed caught on a patch of ice, and it jerks in fits and starts, precariously close to the edge of the cliff.
Who could it be? Devon asks himself. He knows few of the villagers ever drive up here. Ravenscliffis like Dracula's Castle to them. And no one from the great house has a car like that.
Devon hurries his approach, but the snow is falling heavier now. The wind hits him face-first. The Cadillac continues trying to break free of the ice, spitting snow from its spinning tires, screeching like some animal with its leg in a trap.
"Hang on!" Devon calls. "I'll give you a hand!"
Just then the car does break free. It thrusts forward, suddenly and with horrible speed, only to pitch itself right over the side of the cliff toward the rocky shore two hundred feet below.
"No!" Devon shouts, his eyes wide in horror.
But he doesn't spring forward. Instead, he concentrates.
The Cadillac stops in midfall, as if drawn by a giant magnet to safety along the edge of the cliff. It settles on the road, still dangerously close to the precipice, but safe.
Devon smiles. Such things shouldn't surprise him anymore, but they still do. No matter how often he uses his powers, no matter how often he proves to himself that he's a sorcerer, he remains in awe of what he can do when he puts his mind to it.
Devon runs up to the driver's door. "Are you okay?"
There's no sign of life behind the blue-tinted windows.
"Hello?" Devon calls again, rapping on the glass. Still nothing.
He pulls open the door. He sees no one. Was the car driving itself? It's not such an odd thought, really. Stranger things have happened at Ravenscliff.
"My, my, my," comes a voice. "That sure was close."
From the floor of the car, under the steering wheel, creeps a little man. His small pudgy hands grip the leather seat as he hoists himself back up. He looks over at Devon with bright blue eyes. His hair is white; his short beard forks into two small points.
"Are you ... okay?" Devon asks again.
The little man rubs his bearded chin, his eyes studying Devon. "Strange how the car stopped like that. As if something just pulled it right back from certain doom."
"Yeah," Devon says, uncomfortable about revealing his powers to a stranger. "But you should get out of the car. I'm not sure it's safe where it is."
"Oh, I have a feeling it's perfectly safe now." The little man's eyes twinkle. He's like a Munchkin, Devon thinks, dressed entirely in brown suede. "But I doubt I'll get her started again." The man reaches over to the passenger seat and grabs a purple sack, then hops down out of the car. "Poor Bessie," he says, patting the Caddy as he closes the door gently. "I'll be back for you. I promise."
Devon looks down at him. He can't be more than three and a half feet tall. His hair is as white as the falling snow, and his skin is very pink. He swings the purple burlap sack over his shoulder.
"Do you live up there?" he asks Devon. "At Ravenscliff?"
They both look off at the great house, standing there at the crest of the hill, black against the snow, the view of its spires obscured but not obliterated by the storm. Ravenscliff: fifty rooms and countless secret corridors, built of the blackest wood, and covered with the birds from which it takes its name, even in the storm.
"I do," Devon replies. "I live at Ravenscliff."
"Should've guessed," the little man says. "Shall we walk, then? Or might you be able to fly us there?"
Devon laughs, and they begin to trudge through the snow.
Devon March is not like other boys his age. At fourteen, he can claim to have been to hell and back, literally. He's come face-to-face with demons from the other side, and he's proven himself to be stronger than any of them. Ever since he was six years old, when the first filthy thing had crawled out of his closet, Devon has known his powers were unmatched by any human. That first demon - so blundering, so stupid - had tried to kill Devon's father. But the six-year-old had stopped the thing in its slimy tracks, sending it spiraling back down its Hellhole with one word: "No."
His father never explained why Devon had these powers - those answers would have to wait until after he'd come here, to Ravenscliff - but Ted March did teach his son that his powers weren't to be feared. His powers made him stronger than whatever might try to harm him, but only if he used them in the pursuit of good ...
Excerpted from Demon Witch by Geoffrey Huntington
Copyright © 2003 by Geoffrey Huntington
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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