But Perryn's books are his best weapons to stop the dragon that is destroying his kingdom -- and his one hope of earning his father's respect. When he unearths a prophecy on how to kill the dragon, Perryn sets out to find the three things needed to make it come true: a unicorn, a true bard, and a special sword. But in a world where magic is disappearing, the only thing more absurd than pursuing a prophecy is believing any of these legends might still be found.
With the king's men on his trail and time running out, Perryn learns that a scholar's job is not merely to seek the truth but to understand its worth -- and that the power of the prophecy lies in his own hands.
A new fantasy from acclaimed author Hilari Bell, The Prophecy unfolds with wit, wisdom, danger, and discovery, as any unforgettable adventure should!
About the Author
Hilari Bell used to work as a reference librarian, but she now writes science fiction and fantasy for kids and teens from her home base in Denver, Colorado.Hilari’s favorite activity is camping, when she spends all her time reading and hiking. She says, “Camping is the only time I can get in enough reading. Well, I take that back—when it comes to reading, there’s no such thing as enough.”
Read an Excerpt
Perryn was on his way to the library tower when the master of arms' shadow fell across his path. He jumped, and Cedric's hand closed around his shoulder.
"It's time for your sword lesson, Prince Perryndon. Had you forgotten?"
"But . . ." Perryn's thoughts spun. Cedric hasn't come after me for months. Father. . . .
"Is my father home?"
Sunlight flooded through the arched windows, but it brought no more warmth to the master of arms' face than it did to the gray floor and walls of the castle's upper hall. Cedric's eyelids dropped, concealing his gaze.
"I don't think it's my place to answer that, Your Highness. Would you please come with me?" He started toward the side stair that led down to the practice yard.
Perryn braced his feet, resisting, and the scarred hand tightened on his shoulder. He tried not to flinch. Cedric's body was long and lean, hiding his strength. It fooled people, until he proved his strength on them.
"I'll go," said Perryn, "if you answer my question. Is my fath—"
"You'll go anyway." Cedric shoved him in the direction of the stairs.
Perryn staggered, but regained his balance before he fell. Whenever Cedric caught him alone, the respectful facade slipped.
Cedric hovered over him as they walked down the stairs, giving Perryn no chance to escape. His tanned face revealed nothing, but Cedric's face never showed anything unless he wanted it to.
The king must have returned from riding the borders. Cedric never hunted him down unless his father was home—why put on a show unless you had an audience? Usually Perryn could elude the masterof arms, but his father had been gone for so long that he had become careless.
In the small armory that adjoined the practice yard, Cedric watched him fumble with the buckles on his armor. The anger and fear rushing through Perryn's veins made his fingers shake.
"Would you like me to help you, Prince Perryndon?"
When he was finished, Perryn removed his spectacles and set them carefully on a high shelf. They fit too awkwardly under the helmet Cedric made him wear. He had cracked a lens once and spent a week groping through a blurred world before the town glazier could grind him a new one—and then his father had complained about the expense. After that Perryn had chosen to fight without them, though their absence made it impossible for him to see the small, warning twitches of Cedric's sword.
Perryn put on his helmet, pushed up the visor, reached for his shield, and slid his arm through the straps. He lifted his sword. It was almost too heavy for him with just one hand, but he managed.
Perryn clanked around Cedric and into the practice yard. Fuzzy lumps of color were all he could see of the guardsmen who stood around its edges. He thought he saw more of them than usual. Perryn hoped he appeared dignified, but he knew it was unlikely. Once he'd overheard a guardsman say that he looked like a puppet whose joints were too loose.
That was mostly because his armor was too big. When the metalsmith made it, just after Perryn turned thirteen, he'd said that the prince would grow into it. That was over a year ago, and the stiff metal joints still hit his limbs in the wrong places. It was excellent armor, well crafted, fit for a prince . . . a prince who was three inches taller than Perryn.
Cedric stepped up in front of him. The arms master was giving instructions, but he spoke so softly that Perryn could barely hear him. It did more harm than good anyway, when he listened to Cedric's instructions, for Cedric never did what he said he would. He'd tell Perryn to set his guard for high blows, then swing for his knees. Or promise a set of slow, practice forms, and then attack at full combat speed.
The master of arms wore no armor or helmet, carrying only a shield and a blunt-edged practice sword. Perryn's sword was sharp, showing everyone that Cedric knew the prince couldn't hit him. Perryn usually didn't care, secretly grateful for the protection of his clumsy armor. But today his father was home. Probably watching. He squinted up at the windows surrounding the practice yard, but all he could see were hazy shadows.
A crushing blow struck his breastplate. Perryn stumbled back, tripped, and found himself sitting on the ground. The visor clanged down, obscuring what little remained of his vision. He heard the guardsmen snickering, and his face grew warm inside the concealing helmet.
"Always keep your attention on your opponent, Prince Perryndon." Cedric's voice was serious and respectful—playing to his audience. "In battle, a man will take any advantage."
A teacher shouldn't. But Perryn didn't say it aloud. He knew that his father would agree with the master of arms.
Perryn shoved back his visor, hauled himself to his feet, and picked up his sword. His blade was sharp. Cedric wore no armor. And my father is watching.
After teaching Perryn for four years, Cedric hardly bothered to guard himself. Why should he, since Perryn never swung at him?
Cedric started to stalk him, and Perryn backed away. His stomach was tight and quivering—fear of the blows, fear of humiliation, which could hurt even worse. But Algrimin the tactician had written that catching your enemy off guard was half of winning. If he was careful to give no warning, maybe he could hit Cedric. Just once. With my father watching.
Cedric rushed toward him.
Perryn tried to leap back, but the heavy armor defeated him. He got his shield up, but he was off balance, and the blow knocked him sprawling.
The snickers turned to open laughter.
Perryn barely noticed. His shield arm hurt, but his sword arm was fine, and for some reason the shaking in his belly was subsiding. He picked up his weapon and stood again, staggering slightly.The Prophecy. Copyright (c) by Hilari Bell . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is an epic and exciting story of a prince, who is really clever but is no good at defending himself from his corrupt sword-master especially without his glasses and in oversized armour, that finds a prophecy that he thinks can possibly save the kingdom of Idris from the barbaric Norse-people and the massive black dragon that joined forces with them. He tries to show his father, the king, but his father thinks it is crap because he is a drunk living in a haze over the long-past death of his wife and hates his son for being clever like his mum instead of a senseless bloke with a sword. So, the prince sets off to fulfill the Prophecy himself, and ends up having a wonderful adventure and making friends and all that epic jazz!
The dragon has devastated Kingdom of Idris, destroying the land and terrorizing its people. For five years young scholar Prince Perryndon has searched the enormous castle¿s library seeking a means to slay the dragon. Finally when he turns fourteen, Perryndon believes he has found the solution in an ancient prophecy. His father the king pays no attention to his scholarly teenage offspring as the royal ruler thinks that a master swordsman to fight the Norsemen and the dragon is what is needed and not a physically pathetic bookworm. Although he is hurt by his sire¿s disdain for him, the courageous Perryndon seeks to save the kingdom so he turns to the magical Mirror of Idris where he learns that Cedric the master of arms, the Norsemen, and the dragon are in cahoots. Unlike his liege, Cedric recognizes the threat posed by Perryndon and plans to kill him. Perryndon realizes he must leave his home in search of the elements that make up the prophecy. He seeks a bard, a unicorn and the Sword of Samhain while his adversaries want him dead before he fulfills his quest of killing the dragon --- This entertaining coming of age quest fantasy hooks the audience from the opening sequence when preteen readers meet the young hero and never slows down as he tries to save the kingdom. Perryndon is a terrific yet uncommon hero as he is totally a scholar rather than a warrior, which is why his sire is disappointed in him. Hilari Bell provides a fun tale as her intrepid teen attempts to fulfill THE PROPHECY while his foes try to kill him. --- Harriet Klausner
I wouldn't say that this is my favortite book, but it is good. If you like far-fetched fantasy tales, read this book. It was full of action, excitement, creativity, courage, and magic. There are many funny and interesting characters as well as ideas. All told through the eyes of a brave young boy.
I got this book and i couldnt stop reading it was full of action and magic i couldnt help myself from reading it its AWSOME!!!!!
I had the privelege to read an advance copy of this book, and what I read was no disappointment. From start, to finish, this book intrigues it's reader with a tale of a young prince, who wishes to save his kingdom from a dragon, and gain his father's respect, after finding a prophesy in the castle's library that details how to slay a dragon. Though, it occasionally lacks detail, the author manages to make up for it by captivating its reader with a fast paced, straightforward story, laced with sporadic humor. The author obviously deserves praise and recognition for this wondrously entertaining book, which should satisfy any fantasy fan who reads it. This book deserves a 4 out of 5 stars.