Vendetta (The Runestone Saga Series #2)

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Overview

SKY’S GRANDFATHER SIGURD taught Sky how to use the ancient Norse magic of the runes to travel through time, to live as a Viking ancestor, to understand the secrets whispering in his blood . . . But knowledge comes at a cost. Sigurd has stolen Kristin’s life, possessed her, body and soul. In a terrifying reversal, Sky’s teacher, his blood, has become the enemy.

Determined to find a way to free Kristin, Sky travels to Corsica where he finds the Mazzeri—the Dream Hunters—who leave ...

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Vendetta (The Runestone Saga Series #2)

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Overview

SKY’S GRANDFATHER SIGURD taught Sky how to use the ancient Norse magic of the runes to travel through time, to live as a Viking ancestor, to understand the secrets whispering in his blood . . . But knowledge comes at a cost. Sigurd has stolen Kristin’s life, possessed her, body and soul. In a terrifying reversal, Sky’s teacher, his blood, has become the enemy.

Determined to find a way to free Kristin, Sky travels to Corsica where he finds the Mazzeri—the Dream Hunters—who leave their bodies at night to stalk their prey. Sky can’t understand how this horror can help him . . . until he journeys back in time again and becomes another ancestor who does have an answer for him, one that might yet save Kristin. But it comes with the awakening of a vicious vendetta. And the price of knowledge, as always, will be paid in blood.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
The second in "The Runestone Saga," Vendetta opens with its sixteen-year-old hero Sky newly arrived in Corsica. After witnessing a ghostly death squadron, he meets Amelia and Jacquie Farcese. The old woman and her granddaughter's initial friendliness takes a 180-degree turn when they discover Sky is last in line of the long standing feud (or vendetta) between their ancestors and his. He soon finds himself under the care and tutelage of his great aunt, Pascaline, who briefs Sky on the feud, then tells him that he is the one destined to end it by killing Jacquie. Horrified, Sky is nevertheless torn between murdering the girl or allowing the vendetta to continue, thereby resulting in further bloodshed for countless generations to come. Sky's indecision is ended when Pascaline inadvertently gives him a potential solution: to become a healer instead of a murderer. To do so, he must travel back in time to learn this lost art. The story then takes a hard-to-follow detour as Sky inhabits the body of a fourteen-year-old girl who lived in the 1500s. Humphreys' book is interesting and suspenseful but also quite confusing as a stand-alone. Concepts that include out-of-body counterparts and experiences, runes, and possession of someone else's soul, are rather daunting and complex. Still, fans of the previous title should be pleased and will no doubt eagerly await the exciting conclusion in the next and final, installment. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner
VOYA - David Goodale
In this second book of The Runestone Saga, following Fetch (Knopf, 2006/VOYA August 2006), teen Sky March travels to Corsica to uncover the mystery of his father's ancestry and the secret to saving his possessed cousin, Kristin, from his evil grandfather Sigurd. Sky finds himself thrust into an ancient vendetta between his ancestors, the Marcaggi, and their enemies, the Farcese. Pascaline, Sky's great-aunt, mentors Sky in the ways of the Mazzeri Dream Hunters, who can leave their physical bodies to hunt. Sky then combines the powers of his ancestries, Viking and Corsican, to travel back in time and learn the ways of the Mazzeri Salvatore, the Dream Hunters who can kill and then heal their prey. This new skill serves Sky doubly well as it allows him to end the feud between the two families without further death and also to drive the evil spirit of Sigurd from Kristin's body by killing and then healing her. Fans will be howling for the next book. Humphreys's setting is unique, and he has a tremendous ability for building suspense. Unlike in the first book, here Humphreys allows Sky to make more decisions instead of being carried by the plot. Sky's access to a large bank account and the inability of his parents to locate him are a stretch, but the plot and action more than make up for these minor criticisms. Purchase where the first book is popular and for science fiction fans looking for a distinctive read that deftly crosses into other genres such as mystery and historical fiction.
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
Traveling to a new country is always difficult, but it is even more so when one is being chased by death spirits and cursed by the blade-wielding women who follow them. Sky March has just found this out the hard way. Of course, Sky is no stranger to either curses or to the dead, not since his grandfather Sigurd showed him that his family possessed the ancient power of the runes. He recently abandoned the maternal side of his family, however, because his grandfather's magical revelation only slightly preceded his possession of Sky's favorite cousin, Kristin. Now, Sky is tracking down his father's lineage in Corsica in the hopes that he will find another set of magic with which to combat Sigurd. When he discovers the mystical powers of the Mazzeri death hunters, he realizes that he has found what he came for...but that the price for his new knowledge is to be drawn into a virulent maelstrom of bloodlines, death, and revenge. Humphrey's dazzling, blood-pounding world of the Mazzeri makes this sequel to The Fetch an undeniably good read. The story itself has obvious overtones of Romeo and Juliet, and those who enjoyed the Matrix trilogy will find themselves on familiar territory with Sky, who must learn to master his spirit self in order to battle the other Mazzeri in their world. Readers also will find, however, that the book does struggle a bit with its place in Humphrey's Runestone Saga. As a sequel, it abandons the ostensible "main" story line for much of the book—making the ending seem somewhat forced—and when read on its own, it fails somewhat to convince the reader of the gravity of Sky's mission. For those simply in search of a good page-turner, though,Humphreys does not disappoint.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
Having escaped his grandfather Sigurd's nefarious plans in The Fetch (Knopf, 2006), Sky March is now on a quest of his own. Utilizing the ancient Norse magic of runes, Sigurd has possessed Sky's cousin Kristen's body, and the boy is too unskilled to fight his more powerful ancestor. The only thing to do is to travel to Corsica, where the other side of his family is from, and learn something Sigurd doesn't know. Once there, Sky finds himself trapped in a centuries-old blood feud. His great-aunt has promised that she will teach him how to release his "Fetch," or soul, but only if he fulfills his destiny by participating in the family's vendetta. Torn between his need for information and disgust with killing, Sky finds the answers he seeks only when he's willing to travel yet again into the past. Though best read in tandem with its predecessor, this book is a consistently exciting combination of Corsican legend and contemporary fantasy.
—Elizabeth BirdCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
When Sky studied his maternal grandfather, he was drawn into a dangerous world of Viking shapeshifters, and his cousin Kristin was possessed by the old man's spirit. Now he hopes to rescue Kristin by turning to the magic of his paternal grandfather. From Norway he has fled to Corsica, where he is embroiled in a centuries-old vendetta between his own family and that of a beautiful young woman. Sky will only be taught the magic of his ancestors if he ends the vendetta by killing lovely Jacqueline Farcese. Can Sky use time travel, berserker madness and shapeshifting-his cursed powers from his Norwegian bloodline-to bring a different ending to the vendetta? Sky's Corsican adventure is less brutal and overwritten than his travels in The Fetch (2006), allowing more scope for the atmospheric and history-laden tale. Sky could benefit from a few more weaknesses (his tendency to be the smartest magic user in three countries becomes tiresome), but this trilogy is heating up. (Fantasy. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375832932
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/14/2007
  • Series: Runestone Saga Series , #2
  • Pages: 300
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.63 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Humphreys is an actor turned novelist who uses his love of history and swordplay to create swashbuckling adventures. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and young son.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

He’d been dreaming of hands. Of his own hands. The right one with the four slashes across its back, still livid, purple, barely scabbed over. His left, the very tip of the forefinger gone, sliced off. Sacrificed. Both of them stretched out before him, reaching, reaching . . .

For what? Mist obscured it, terrifying him as he continued to push into the gray, into whatever was within.

His fingertips slipped into softness. It felt like . . . fur. Then something growled.

A hand grabbed him. Sound came, but not from an animal. A man was shouting, unintelligible things.

Sky woke gasping, his hands instinctively grappling with the one that held him. His eyes shot open, and at first he thought he did see fur, a thick pelt of it right above him. Then he focused, realized that the fur was a beard, that the hand he clutched belonged to a man, and that both stank of cigarettes.

The bus driver jerked his hand free. “Descendez! Descendez! Nous sommes arrivés!”

“Sartène?”

“Oui. Oui. Sartène. ’Ow you say? ‘Zee end of zee line.’ ” The driver grunted this last in English, then jerked his thumb. “Allez-y!”

Sky’s backpack was already on the ground beside the bus. The driver followed him out, began slamming the luggage holds shut.

“Uh, monsieur, s’il vous plait? Ou est le . . . ’ostel?” Sky’s French, which he’d been trying to improve all summer with language tapes at the library, seemed to fail him at two-thirty a.m. But he’d found that as long as you dropped the “h” and looked like you were sulking when you spoke, you could get by.

“Pour l’auberge? Là-bas! Mais a cette heure, c’est fermé, je crois.” He pointed with his nicotine-stained beard and then was gone. The bus, sputtering into life, lurched off.

Yeah, I bet it’s closed now, thought Sky. And whose fault is that? A breakdown on the road, a lot of shrugging and pointing into the engine. Finally, three hours later, a replacement bus arrived, dropping him in a strange town in the middle of the night. Sky looked around him, at the narrow stone houses of the square. No lights showed in the grayness, their windows shuttered like closed eyes.

WITHAIN, he thought, shivering. It was a shorthand he’d come up with at various points on the journey from England. WITHAIN, or Where-in-the-hell-am-I-now? He’d thought it often in the small hotel in Toulon where he’d had to hole up for over a week with a raging flu before he could catch the ferry. He thought it now. He knew the name of the town—Sartène. He knew that town was in southern Corsica. But at two-thirty in the morning, having slept for maybe two hours in two days, he struggled to remember why he was there.

“Sleep,” he grunted. But where? There was a bench beside the bus stop, and he nearly collapsed onto it. But it looked hard and likely offered only a couple of hours of sleep, followed by some policeman moving him on. . . .

He shook his head. He’d try to wake someone at the hostel. They’d be pissed off. But he didn’t really care as long as he got a bunk for the night—and all the next day. Shouldering his pack, he began to stagger in the direction the bus driver had indicated.

The streets were steep, as the town was built on hills, and the night air was still warm. Within a few hundred yards he was sweating. He paused to catch his breath, look around. There was not a soul about, no one to ask for better directions.

Then, glancing up, he saw it—a metal arrow mounted just below the first-story window. It pointed to the right, and written on it was L’Auberge de Jeunesse. Two stick figures with backpacks leaned into a slope. Great, Sky thought, hoisting his own pack again. He took a few steps, stopped. There weren’t many lights in the town, but the street he was being directed down—more an alley, really—seemed to have none. Then suddenly he saw the faintest glimmer. It came and went, as if someone had opened a shutter, closed it again. This sign of life was, strangely, the opposite of comforting. He glanced back down the hill to the square where he’d arrived. There was the bench, beneath a lamppost. It was starting to look more comfortable.

Bollocks, he thought. After all the things he’d seen and done in England, in Norway, in the past as well as the present, how scary could a dark alley be?

He stepped into that dark—and instantly it felt like he’d crossed some threshold. It wasn’t just the lack of light; it was colder and he shivered for the first time since he’d got to Corsica. There was noise too—a scraping? Or was that a whisper behind him?

“Hullo?” He turned back. To nothing.

With a grunt, he pushed on. The alley curved and he passed from the little light to none at all. Then, slowing almost to a stop, he noticed a glow slipping from what had to be doorways, throwing faint patches out onto the cobbles. He moved from one to the next, pausing briefly, moving on. This stuttering progress took him to another bend, round it . . .

And then there was light. Just a single bulb above a doorway but it seemed like the midday sun to Sky. He squinted, stepped forward eagerly. There was a brass plate to the side of the door, but the lightbulb wasn’t bright enough to let him read what was written on it. Reaching back into the side pocket of his pack, he pulled out his lighter. He needed to know if the brass plate said Youth Hostel so he could begin hammering upon the wooden door.

But the words disappointed. “ ‘Lucien Bellagi,’ ” he read. “ ‘Avocat.’ ”

Well, I don’t need a lawyer. I need a bed, he thought. He looked down into the burning yellow, its blue core, savoring even such a little light. Then he flicked the lighter’s arm down, took another step forward.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Good Work

    A very good book, however, imposible if you have not read The Fetch. Extreamly good.

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