King of Things

King of Things

3.0 3
by John F. D. Taff
     
 

The Beginning of an Epic YA Fantasy! Orphaned by the death of their parents, Maddie and Wil are sent to live with their aunt, a respected college professor with no experience raising children. Largely left to themselves, they find a portal in her house-a door through an ordinary washing machine that leads to Loss, a strange world where all of the things lost in our… See more details below

Overview

The Beginning of an Epic YA Fantasy! Orphaned by the death of their parents, Maddie and Wil are sent to live with their aunt, a respected college professor with no experience raising children. Largely left to themselves, they find a portal in her house-a door through an ordinary washing machine that leads to Loss, a strange world where all of the things lost in our world go to-keys, umbrellas, socks, loose change.even people. Wil and Maddie find themselves thrust into an enchanting world, where literal mountains of laundry and eyeglasses loom over exotic cities such as Marketown. At first all they want is to simply get home-back to their aunt's house. But a desperate idea comes to Wil-when people die in our world, we say we've "lost" them. If so, perhaps he and his sister might be able to find their dead parents here and bring them home. The only person who can help, though, is the King of Loss, and he sees no one. They're helped on their journey by Bob, a 7-foot-tall robot; a talking dog called Usher; and Cooper, a tight-mouthed, intimidating guide who parachuted into this world after highjacking an airplane in his. Along the way, they meet Ambrose Bierce and a certain hip-swiveling King who might be dead in our world or not. . But they're also being chased by minions of The Judge, the shadowy power behind the throne... a man who was lost from their world before they were born; Judge Joseph F. Crater. He's gained a lot of power here in Loss, and he knows something about Maddie.something that makes her important in this world. And he can't afford for these two kids to gain an audience with the King of Loss. In the spirit of The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit, King of Things begins anexciting and magical journey through a land unlike any other that will continue in The Shadow of the World and finish in The Ends of the Earth. John F.D. Taff is the author of seven novels and dozens of short stories. His horror novel, The Rat Catcher's King, published by Double Dragon, was the finalist in the horror category of the 2006 Eppie Awards.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940000098042
Publisher:
Double Dragon Publishing
Publication date:
04/07/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Through the Washing Machine

Wil awoke with a start, scattering the pillows and sheets with their smell of an unfamiliar fabric softener. His surroundings were dark and featureless, as if someone had wrapped black construction paper around his head.

He moved his hands to his eyes, but there was nothing.

His fingers realized this, and his mind slowly remembered where he was. It all came back in a sickening lurch that made him feel as if the entire bed was plummeting from a great height.

I'm at Aunt Peg's house .

Maddie's in the other room .

We live here now because Mom and Dad are dead .

Dead .

It was a curiously flat word to Wil, like pancakes, or jeans or television. Just a normal word that he used many times now during the course of a day, often without even knowing it.

Wil took a deep, shuddering breath, squeezed his eyes shut.

In fact, it seemed as if all he'd done during the past two weeks was think about death and talk about death. How adults liked to talk about death. Except to them, it wasn't death, it was a "loss." They told him what a great "loss" it was; as if his parents were like misplaced keys or a billfold that would turn up sometime soon in an unexpected place, none the worse for wear.

This was no "loss." It was more permanent than that.

If those same adults weren't discussing your "loss"-or if you didn't want to join them-they were eating and forcing food on you. Wil hoped that it would be a long while until he saw another baked ham, potato casserole or bowl of ambrosia salad.

Living with Aunt Peg was not his choice, but at least she didn't seem likemuch for talking, about anything much less the loss of her sister and her brother-in-law. Peg was a professor of mathematics, single and taciturn. She'd no children of her own, and knew little of raising them.

But it wasn't all bad. She didn't press them to talk or try to comfort them or hover over them in any way. And she wasn't forcing ham and green bean casserole into them. In fact, since they had come into her house, she'd pretty much left them to their own devices. And her house, once a sorority house, was big enough to get lost in.

The room Wil slept in had, at one time, been home to four girls and their amazing array of stuff-clothing and makeup and shoes and books and posters of long-forgotten boy bands. Now, it was largely empty, with only Wil's twin bed huddled against one wall and his dresser and a few cardboard boxes to fill it. During the day, his possessions barely made an impression on the room. Now, with the room in early morning twilight, they made no impression at all.

In fact, the room was so large that, here in the dawn, Wil had no definite idea where the walls were. For all he knew, he could be dead, too; somewhere dark and unbounded and featureless, with his parents cold and silent somewhere close by.

He shivered again.

A faint smell came to him, winding its way through the room.

Toast .

Maddie was downstairs making toast for breakfast because, he still couldn't believe it, Aunt Peg didn't know how to cook.

If there was one thing that his parents' death had hammered home to Wil at the young age of just 12 years, it was that death wasn't fair. As with so many things in life, there were rules without end for the things that meant little, yet no rules governing the most important things.

Will drew a hand through his hair, tossed the covers off, got out of bed.

Wil's footfalls resounded through Aunt Peg's cavernous house, echoing off the polished hardwood floors of the hallway as if he were inside a school gym playing a pick-up game of basketball.

Today was Peg's first full day back after the summer break. She would leave this morning to get her office in order, review her class load for the term and-more important, Wil guessed-to get away from him and Maddie.

Copyright © 2006 John F.D. Taff.

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