Kingdom of Twilight (Avatars Series #3)

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Overview

"Don't die," Gus whispered.

He reached out and touched her hand. Were there superpowers that could bring her back? Would there be gods in Africa that could help them save her?

"I stayed alive when you ordered me to. Now you return the favor, okay? Just . . . whatever you do, don't die."

Ruthlessly stabbed by a fellow avatar, Diana suddenly finds herself hopelessly wandering through the underworlds, fighting her way past everything and anything...

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Overview

"Don't die," Gus whispered.

He reached out and touched her hand. Were there superpowers that could bring her back? Would there be gods in Africa that could help them save her?

"I stayed alive when you ordered me to. Now you return the favor, okay? Just . . . whatever you do, don't die."

Ruthlessly stabbed by a fellow avatar, Diana suddenly finds herself hopelessly wandering through the underworlds, fighting her way past everything and anything vile, struggling to find a way back to life.

Up above, her fellow avatars—Gus, Kali, and Tigre—have set sail to Africa, hoping to find refuge and a healer to bring Diana back from death. Time is racing against the avatars, because once Diana reaches the Greek underworld, Hades, she is gone. Forever.

But that problem pales in comparison to the larger issue at hand—only one avatar can take back the power of the gods and live forever.

Beautifully weaving together myth and realism, Tui T. Sutherland delivers the breath­taking conclusion to a trilogy that places the fate of the world in the outcome of a battle between power-hungry pantheons of gods and four teen avatars.

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Editorial Reviews

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Readers will reward the saga’s ending with a satisfying round of applause.”
KLIATT - Donna Scanlon
Sutherland wraps up her final installment of the Avatars trilogy, picking up where she left off. Some of the avatars have escaped New York City and are on their way to Africa in Thor's folding boat Skidbladnir. Diana is nearly dead from a stab wound to the stomach; Tigre is trying to tend to her; Kali vents her frustration on the gods who are trying to make the voyage as miserable as possible; and Gus is just trying to hold it together. Diana finds herself in the Underworld—not the Greco-Roman Underworld—and is faced with a choice. She can appeal to the ruler of that Underworld for her life (after completing a dangerous, four-year journey) or she can try to get out through the Underworld of another culture. She opts for the latter and sets off on her quest, which has one caveat: if she enters her own culture's underworld, she must stay there. Meanwhile, the others must contend with the knowledge that only one of them is supposed to win the competition, and they're fed up with constant interference from meddlesome gods. They find strength in their numbers, however, and the ending is a bit surprising and wholly satisfactory. Sutherland's plot is as fast paced as the other books in the trilogy, with a dizzying array of characters. The main characters are particularly appealing, and Sutherland continues to incorporate a lively sense of humor into the story. There is also substance to the trilogy; it has a serious and thoughtful edge, and Sutherland exhibits great skill in balancing the two. Libraries with the first two books in the trilogy will need this one, and those that do not have them should consider acquiring all three. Reviewer: Donna Scanlon
Kirkus Reviews
The Avatars trilogy comes to a sturdy close with visits to several underworlds and the exposure of divine deception on a grand scale. The pantheons of various fading or extinct religions have set up a battle for ultimate power that requires each one's champion to be embodied in an enhanced mortal who will fight his or her rivals to the death. Unfortunately (for the gods), four of the teens have become fast friends rather than enemies. Leaning heavily on previous episodes, the closer sends the spirit of the badly wounded Diana wandering through various lands of the dead while depositing Gus, Kali and Tigre in Africa. With the aid of sympathetic Yoruba spirits the three use the old tar-baby trick to capture the trickster god ("I cannot believe that I fell for this again," he mutters)-who in various aspects is part of almost all pantheons and who, after perfunctory resistance, explains how to thwart the Game's aims. Threading in revelations, dangerous encounters and tongue-in-cheek comments, Sutherland rounds out her leisurely but ultimately engrossing epic in style. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060851491
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/11/2008
  • Series: Avatars Series , #3
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Tui T. Sutherland is named after a rather noisy New Zealand bird. She loves lost civilizations and postapocalyptic stories, and she has recurring end-of-the-world dreams (perhaps a side effect of being a Buffy fan!). Tui was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and lived all over the world before ending up in Boston, where she now resides with her husband and her dog, whose superpowers include hiding half-chewed things in the couch and woofing at noises no one else can hear. Tui is also the author of the first two books in the Avatars trilogy as well as This Must Be Love.

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Read an Excerpt

Avatars, Book Three: Kingdom of Twilight

Chapter One

Cavern of Bones

Tigre was up to his elbows in blood, trying not to pass out. The ship surged beneath his feet, making him dizzy. As the waves tossed Skidbladnir violently from side to side, Viking weapons clanked ominously inside a huge chest shoved against the curving far wall. He clutched the carved wooden post of the bed with his free hand, feeling the raised shapes of ships, and boars, and dragons, and giants beneath his fingers.

The expensive-looking sheets on the bed, once crisp and white, were soaked through and dripping, and all the pillowcases he'd pressed to Diana's wound were wet red blotches on the floor. It looked like a battlefield after vultures had gone around ripping out everyone's organs.

He dropped the last pillowcase on the bearskin rug, pulled off his shirt, and pressed that to the deep slash in Diana's stomach. He couldn't think of anything else to do. Kali insisted that his experience working in a vet's office should help, but the truth was that Tigre's mind had gone blank. He couldn't remember a thing about helping Dr. Harris. The only memory that kept coming back to him from that time was Dr. Harris's daughter Vicky—Tigre's ex-girlfriend—mocking him for being such a useless waste of humanity.

If she were here, Vicky wouldn't be at all surprised that Anna had betrayed him, that the Sumerian avatar had never really liked him, and that he'd been dumb enough to fall for her love goddess tricks.

Panic flared up inside him again. This was his fault. He'd been the closest to Anna; he should have noticed her dark side. Or he should havedone some research on her goddess, Inanna, before trusting her. It wasn't often you could look up your potential girlfriend in a library book and spot warning signs like "also a war goddess" and "has no problem with killing people."

If Diana died, Kali and Gus would blame him. But all this blood—the smell, the sticky warmth—took him back to the bus shelter where he'd found the body of the old man, and then he felt even more guilty.

Plus, it did not help that the ship kept pitching violently from side to side. He ducked as an unlit lantern flew across the cabin and crashed into the opposite wall.

Diana made a soft sound of pain. She lifted one hand slightly, then let it drop and subsided into silence again.

If only he could open a window, let in some fresh air. But the portholes high in the wall wouldn't budge, and the rain was pouring down so furiously outside that the cabin would probably fill with water instantly, flooding the ship and drowning them all.

"That would be typical," Tigre muttered. "I mean, if anyone's going to accidentally kill us all, it'll definitely be me."

"Well, if anyone's going to intentionally kill us all, it'll probably be me," Kali said, coming into the room. "You know, being a goddess of death and destruction and stuff. And also considering how annoying you all are. If that makes you feel any better."

"Not really," Tigre said.

The ship shuddered convulsively and then seemed to leap into the air, where it paused for a moment before smashing down again. Tigre clutched the bedposts to stay in place, while Kali hung on to the door frame.

"Our fearless navigator isn't doing so well, in case you hadn't noticed," Kali said, jerking her thumb at the deck above them.

"Gus is probably doing better than I am," Tigre pointed out.

"I'm sure he'd love to trade places too," Kali said, "but remember, he's soaking wet out there. Trying to drive a ship in a god-crazy thunderstorm isn't much more fun than what you're doing." Kali herself looked like she'd been swimming alongside the ship instead of standing on it. Her long dark hair was loose and dripping around her shoulders and water streamed off her into a small lake around her feet.

"Here." She stepped forward and set a leather case on the bed beside Diana. "I've been searching the cabins and I found this. We're on a freaky boat, let me tell you. The food in the kitchen replenishes itself as soon as you eat it, and the whole place is a weird mix of ancient-Viking-longboat-meets-luxury-cruise-liner-for-the-gods. I guess Frey and his friends are pretty keen on creature comforts. No TVs though, sadly. Or casinos."

"Wait," Tigre said. "You ate?"

An expression of guilt briefly flitted across Kali's face. "No?" she tried. He frowned at her. "Oh, fine, stop whining, I'll bring you food in a little while," she said. "I thought this was more important."

She took over applying pressure to Diana's injury while Tigre untied the leather ribbon and opened the case. Inside there was gauze, needles made of reindeer horn or something like it, thread, and strange bundles of herbs. He picked up a packet of long dark leaves.

"What am I supposed to do with this?"

Kali shrugged. "Hey, I found you a first aid kit, didn't I?"

"I guess," Tigre said, sniffing the leaves. They smelled sharp and totally unfamiliar. "Either that or a spice rack."

"Well, this ship belonged to Norse gods," Kali said. She peeked under the shirt at the long slash in Diana's stomach. "They're gods, but they're still Vikings, and that means battle—lots of battle. I assume even gods need sewing up now and then, when other gods stick giant axes in their arms and stuff."

Tigre looked down at Diana, feeling ill. "You want me to sew her up?"

"Come on, Tigre," Kali said sharply. "Snap to. You've been down here with her for hours; surely you remember something. You like animals, right? Just imagine she's a wounded pet or whatever you have to do."

Avatars, Book Three: Kingdom of Twilight. Copyright (c) by Tui Sutherland . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo.com

    The world as they knew it began disintegrating the moment they disappeared on December 21, 2012.

    Dropped into a post-apocalyptic aftermath eighty-five years ago, Diana, Gus, Kali, and Tigre have banded together to find a way out of this nightmare created by the gods in their quest to make one from their own pantheon the ultimate ruler. Time is against them as they sail to Africa - the only place safely beyond the gods' reach.

    Diana's body hovers on the brink of death, while her soul wanders a vast array of underworlds, full of ruthless and cunning deities, as she tries to make her way back to her friends. Consulting African gods leads to divergent courses for the other three avatars. As Gus fights consumption by the war god forced inside his body and enters the underworld to lead Diana out himself, Kali and Gus team up with the goddess Oya to find Eshu - a crossroads god who may solve the riddle of hows and whys of their entire lives.

    I wanted to give this book a Gold Star Award. Tui T. Sutherland has created an amazing, detailed, well-researched world that includes pantheons across the globe; fully-developed, relatable, fallible characters who make the reader care; and an engrossing, fast-paced plot that kept me frantically flipping the pages just so I could find out what happened next. (I also give her bonus points for extending her own story far beyond one rooted in Celtic/Greco-Roman/western European mythology and folklore).

    As a general rule, books comprising a trilogy should be capable of standing on their own, but also complete whatever story arcs are established in previous volumes. KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT is a superb book when taken as part of the AVATARS trilogy, but having not read the first and second installments, I found myself somewhat lost throughout the reading, especially with references to characters, circumstances, and events not making an appearance in this book.

    Taken as a stand-alone story, KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT leaves a little to be desired. My advice is to check out SO THIS IS HOW IT ENDS and SHADOW FALLING first to get the fullest possible enjoyment from this book, because this trio is definitely worth the time.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    Could Have Went For Another Book

    Honestly, I felt the ending was rushed. The entire series was a good read because everything moved gradually so you got to be introduced to alot of different mythologies you might never have heard of, plus you got alot of insight on the characters. However, the ending was entirely too rushed for me. She could have ended this book when Diana got out of the Underworld, and started a new book entirely, but instead she just decides to throw in the ending of the entire series. It disappointed me greatly, and completely hurt my love for her writing. She could have done it better.

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted April 11, 2010

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    Posted April 13, 2010

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