The Fiend and the Forge (The Tapestry Series #3)

The Fiend and the Forge (The Tapestry Series #3)

by Henry H. Neff

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375838996
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Series: Tapestry Series , #3
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 203,143
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

HENRY H. NEFF has been a successful business consultant in Chicago and a popular high school teacher in San Francisco. He now writes and draws full-time from his home in Brooklyn. The Fiend and the Forge is his third book. Visit him at rowanacademy.com for original content, exclusive artwork, and more!

Read an Excerpt

It was not the warm sun or the bleating lambs that woke Max McDaniels. Rather, it was the soft patter of little feet--sly, terribly eager feet--that converged upon him as he lay amid the ripening corn. Max kept still while the first of his visitors hopped onto his chest. He did not stir at the second or third. But once the twelfth clambered up with an exasperated peep, Max cracked an eye and smiled.

Twelve goslings stood upon him. Downy heads bobbed; inscrutable eyes glistened like wet pebbles. With a sudden, triumphant honk, the boldest stepped forward and tapped its hard little beak on Max’s breastbone. The others followed suit, and soon Max writhed and chuckled beneath the Lilliputian assault.

“Ouch!” he exclaimed, shooing at them halfheartedly. “I’m awake!”

The pecking continued.

“MAX!” bellowed a shrill female voice.

Several crows took flight as a plump white goose crashed through the cornstalks and into Max’s row, looking frantically from side to side.

“There you are!” exclaimed the goose. “Sleeping away like a lazy bottom!”

“Bottoms can’t be lazy, Hannah,” murmured Max. He plucked the last of the marauding goslings off his stomach and placed it on the ground, where it promptly resumed its indiscriminate pecking.

“Like-a-lazy-bottom!” sang the goose, aspiring to an operatic tremolo.

“Bravo,” said Max, rising to his feet.

“Thank you,” replied Hannah, curtsying. She waddled forward and gave him a motherly once-over. “Max, there are a gazillion things to do, and you should know better than to sneak off for a handful of winks.”

“I’ve been working late every day for a month,” protested Max, emphasizing the point with a bleary yawn.

“Excuses, excuses,” retorted Hannah. “Stoop down a bit, dear.” Max bent over in silent resignation while the goose flicked bits of dirt and hay from his shirt and smoothed his dark hair into a respectable shape. She sighed. “You of all people should know how special tomorrow is. . . .”

“I do,” said Max. “I’ll do my part.”

“You’ll do your part now,” she said pointedly. “On the double!”

The matronly goose buffeted Max forward with her powerful wing and whistled for the goslings to fall in line. They did so dutifully, and the group now formed an orderly column as they marched through the cornfield. When they arrived at the Sanctuary’s main clearing, Hannah flapped her wings excitedly. “Nearly all back to normal and pretty as a picture,” she crowed, gesturing toward the rebuilt Warming Lodge.

The long, low building seemed almost to bask next to its small lagoon. Its timbered walls were clean and smooth. There was no trace of splintered wood or blackened stone, nothing to suggest that this very building had been recently reduced to embers.

“Hmmm,” said Max, privately thinking that Rowan Academy, while largely rebuilt, would never be “back to normal.” Only six months ago, Astaroth’s armies had rampaged across the school’s sprawling campus, burning its forests, razing its structures, and slaughtering its flocks as they marched upon Rowan’s final refuge in the cliffs. Many lives had been lost. It was Max who ultimately withstood them, fighting on alone until the only remaining option was to surrender the Book of  Thoth to the Demon that coveted it. It had been a wrenching decision, but Astaroth had seemingly kept his word and fulfilled their bargain. The monstrous armies were spirited away, and Rowan had been left in peace, battered and broken, but free to rebuild at its own pace.

By any standard, that pace had been remarkable. Using magic and muscle, crops were planted, stone was quarried, forests were raised, and herds restocked. The Sanctuary’s broad plain was now thick with grain fields, lush orchards, and grazing herds that were hemmed by a broad forest that sloped up into the mountains. Max inhaled the September air and spied a family of shimmering pixies as they skimmed toward a yellowing oak.

It was not just the Demon’s peaceful withdrawal or recent glimpses of notoriously shy pixies that roused Max’s curiosity. There were other changes, too. Since Astaroth had claimed the Book, Max had felt the world thawing--as though the Earth had clomped in from the cold, stamped snow from her boots, and settled by a comfortable fire.

“A new age is beginning,” he muttered.

“It sure is, honey,” remarked Hannah brightly, herding her goslings toward the Sanctuary gate. “And just like I predicted, Mother Nature was due for one.”

“Can you feel it, too?” he asked. At times he wondered if he was particularly sensitive to such things. Max McDaniels was a son of the Sidh, a hidden land where gods and monsters slumbered amid the hills. As the child of an earthly mother and an Irish deity, Max straddled a tenuous line between mortal and immortal. Within his blood coursed rare sparks of the Old Magic, primal forces that could make Max as wild and powerful as a storm. Hundreds of enemies had given way before Max during the Siege of Rowan.

“Of course I can feel it,” replied Hannah, her head bobbing in time with her step. “Things growing, the air brimming and crackling with magic. It’s like a ray of sunshine on my beak! You’d have to be a ninny not to feel it.”

“Do you believe Astaroth’s behind it all?” asked Max.

“Who knows?” The goose shrugged. “But I’d wager that once he got his hands on the Book, he’s been changing a thing or two. Can’t say it’s ruffling my feathers, either.”

“So you think things are better?” asked Max, feeling somewhat defensive. He had been expecting fire and brimstone following Astaroth’s victory, not a peaceful, bountiful summer. The quiet was unsettling.

“Around here they are,” Hannah concluded. She spread her wings and puffed out her chest to absorb the autumn sunshine. The goslings imitated their mother. “Anyway, I’ve done what I was supposed to do: find you and direct your lazy bottom back toward the Manse. So, you go mow lawns or weed gardens while this goose gets her groom on!”

“Excuse me?” asked Max.

“Deluxe feather tufting, Swedish beak massage, and a pedicure,” explained Hannah. “The dryads owe me big-time. Big-time! So be a dear and watch the goslings while you do your chores. You know they just love it when you babysit. Mind you, L’il Baby Ray’s been wheezy, so don’t let Honk play too rough. And Millie’s not allowed any sweets since she’s been a very naughty gosling, and . . .”

Max’s eyes glazed over while Hannah recited a litany of special instructions for each of her fidgeting, utterly indistinguishable children. Once Millie’s pesky skin irritation had been addressed, Hannah waddled away, greeting a nearby work crew with the amiable ease of a big-city mayor. As soon as she disappeared, Max felt a sharp peck on his shin. The goslings were jostling at his feet. Implacable stares met his own.

“Mind your beaks,” said Max, and with that he led them toward a mossy wall and the stout wooden door that separated the Sanctuary from the rest of Rowan Academy.

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The Fiend and the Forge (The Tapestry Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its sooooo sad! Lotsa people die! I was crying half the book! But i loved it. Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading it and amazing! Just cannot wait for the fourth one to come out in OCTOBER!!!!!! Highly recomended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very excited for this installment of The Tapestry to arrive...and it was well worth the wait. In "Fiend," we find Rowan recovering from Astaroth's brutal Siege. Though in the new world order, it's more than just a school, it's a refuge for humankind living at the mercy of powerful demons. Our hero Max has recovered from his storied performance in The Siege as well, and is excited to return to "normal" school life once again. Thankfully for the reader, "normal" is not in Max's future, and he struggles to understand the new world order (Why won't Rowan's staff resist the demon rule? Why is his best friend David keeping dangerous secrets?) and to try to master the powerful Old Magic that threatens to overtake him. Action and adventure abound as "Fiend" continues to blend elements of both Fantasy and Science Fiction, a hallmark of Neff's "Tapestry" series. We're introduced to new worlds, ancient history and myth and intriguing new characters, including the gregarious--and brutal--demon Prusias, a host of terrifying monsters and the charming and multi-faceted Smee (for some welcome comic relief!). Many of our old favorites are back, as well (Cooper, Mum and Bob--I'm looking at YOU!). But "Fiend" is truly about Max's journey-both literal and emotional. "Fiend" is equal parts thrilling, chilling, tragic...and comic just when you need it to be (barrister hags, anyone?). Yes, it is darker than the previous two installments, but necessarily so. "Fiend" truly moves "The Tapestry" series forward to a more epic place (you can feel the progression in both the quality of the writing and the richly detailed drawings). I cannot wait to see how this amazing tale is wrapped up in the fourth and final installment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fiend and the Forge continues the saga of Max McDaniels and positions it squarely within a classical battle between humankind and monsters. I would have said between "good and evil," but just like the character of Max himself-not fully human and not fully predictable in human terms-this simple division falls short of the world created by Henry Neff in this third book of The Tapestry quartet. Not only does Max decisively leave Rowan, and childhood, behind in his venture out into the larger world, he encounters an utterly altered reality. Neff has not just created a post-apocalyptic scenario in which the civilizations and monuments of man have been torn away, he has replaced it with a complex system of hierarchies, government, and mythologies specific to the new ruling class of demons. Their culture-and it is a culture-is complex. There are powerful demons and flunkies; there are brilliant leaders and a multitude of servant beings who simply want to live in peace. Indeed, in terms of honoring nature, aspects of Astaroth's demonic creation seem much more harmonious than when mankind was in charge. The Fiend and the Forge is a great tale of adventure, invoking history as well as mythology, teaching as well as entertaining. It also provokes deep reflection on what it is to be human and how we think about the "other." As a consequence, readers young and old are challenged to consider ideas of "good and evil" in new ways. It is simply a wonderful book. Congratulations, Mr. Neff.
Bree19 More than 1 year ago
If you read the first two in the series i would highly suggest it, its great!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought it for my nook and it was a great book!
TCNIII More than 1 year ago
In this book, Henry Neff reaches a whole new level of excitement and and adventure as Max explores a changed world under the rule of the evil demon Astaroth. It was an awesome book that I could not put down!
MaxMcDanielsFan More than 1 year ago
Like a fine wine, Henry Neff's Tapestry series gets better and better. The plot, character development and illustrations continue to ripen to reflect the compelling storyline. Rarely does one care so much for a book's characters like in the Tapestry - I've quickly read several chapters of the Fiend and the Forge and am already wincing about what may happen to my favorite characters. I'm glad to see that book three continues to expand the story beyond Rowan's borders and take into question our beloved characters' loyalties and personal agendas. Will Max's brawn still protect David's brains or does David even want Max's protection anymore? Neff continues to masterfully tie together myth, history and original fantasy into one compelling plot. Can't wait to read more.
novelgoddess on LibraryThing 8 months ago
GoodReads Synopsis: The Fiend and the Forge, is an unforgettable dystopian adventure across a landscape overrun with goblins and trolls. The world has changed almost beyond recognition, for with the Book of Origins firmly in his possession, the villainous Astaroth now has the power to reshape history at will. Plucking pivotal discoveries from mankind¿s past, he has reduced the world to a preindustrial nightmare.But while most humans toil as slaves within four demonic kingdoms, Astaroth allows those at Rowan to thrive in peaceful isolation. Theirs is a land where magic and nature flourish . . . so long as none dare oppose the new order.That proves too steep a price for Max McDaniels. Unsure of his place at Rowan, Max sets out to explore the shifting landscape of the world beyond. In the course of his travels, he will become many things: Prisoner. Gladiator. Assassin. But can he become the hero that mankind so desperately needs?My Thoughts: I am stunned at how this series has changed since the first book! The tone of the story as well as the plot points are growing and changing as the main character, Max, is growing and changing. In this installment, he¿s about 17, has gone through a lot, and the challenges he faces now are well beyond his years. Quite a change from the first book which was reminiscent of the first Harry Potter book. In book 2, The Second Siege, the bad guy ¿won¿ the war¿not what I was expecting! In this installment, the story delves into the dystopian world the bad guy created as a result. Neff is not afraid to remove beloved characters¿something that really adds a new level of emotion and interest in the story. You can bet that whatever happens it will be unexpected. This is also the first series I¿ve read where we get to watch our current society change into the dystopian society that the story shifts into. Once again adding yet another level of interest.This series is huge in terms of size and scope! Neff is keeping it very fresh. While I initially thought this series would be pointed to the middle school reader, I am finding that it would appeal to all ages. If you are at all curious as to what the world would have been like had Voldemort won the battle, you should read The Tapestry series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of surprises and a really fun read
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H
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG it is likeso awesome
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Good book
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MzDew More than 1 year ago
Exellent book, a wonderful journeyfrom begining to end.