Read The Oracle's Queen Online

Authors: Lynn Flewelling

The Oracle's Queen

Praise for
The Fantastic Novels of Lynn Flewelling

Hidden Warrior

“Stellar high-concept fantasy.”

—
Mysterious Galaxy

“A rousing prince-in-hiding adventure, with some unexpectedly satisfying developments for a middle volume in a series.”

—
Locus

“A beautiful, compelling, dark tale.”

—
Booklist

“A superlative job … the world she has built is complex, and the action non-stop.… Flewelling handles the gender questions with such skill that the reader really feels Tobin's ambivalence, and gradual change.… Recommended highly for anyone seeking a rollicking good read.”

—
SF Site

“Satisfying … intriguing … exploring not merely issues of gender and power but questions of honor as well.”

—Lambda Book Report

“Lynn Flewelling doesn't disappoint.… Questions of obligation and independence have no easy answers for anyone in this maze, adding a welcome depth to the tale.”

—
Alien Online

The Bone Doll's
Twin

“The Bone Doll's Twin
is a thoroughly engrossing new fantasy. It got its hooks into me on the first page, and didn't let loose until the last. I am already looking forward to the next installment.”

—GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

“Lynn Flewelling's
The Bone Doll's Twin
outshines even the gleaming promise shown in her earlier three books. The story pulled me under and carried me off with it in a relentless tale that examines whether the ends can ever completely justify the means.”

—
ROBIN HOBB

“Fresh and original—and unlike most fantasies that try to put women in traditionally male roles, hers works. I found the world exceptionally well realized and coherent. I think you have a winner here! My congratulations to Lynn. Books like this are too good not to share.”

—
KATHERINE KURTZ

“The Bone Doll's Twin
is a great read. Lynn Flewelling has outdone herself with this vibrant tale of dark magic, a hidden child, and the demon ghost that haunts it. She builds a convincing, colorful world with carefully chosen details, and her characters are memorable because their dilemmas are vividly drawn and heartbreakingly believable. This is exactly the kind of fantasy novel that will keep you up long past your bedtime.”

—
KATE ELLIOTT

“A fascinating read, both intellectual and haunting.”

—BARBARA HAMBLY

“A dark and twisting enchantment of a book, a story of deception and loyalty and heroism that will magick its readers along with its characters.”

—
LOUISE MARLEY

“Lynn Flewelling is one of the best at creating complicated stories peopled by diverse characters, each with his own agenda, and each absolutely believable. This tale of a girl disguised by magic and brought up as a boy is engrossing and compelling as it explores the honorable reasons behind dishonorable deeds—and the dark consequences that follow a single desperate act. Flewelling accompanies her skill at storytelling with an exquisite level of detail that brings her entire world to life. A most satisfying tale for readers already familiar with her Nightrunner series—for others, an excellent introduction to the joys of a Flewelling fantasy.”

—
SHARON SHINN

“You liked Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series? This novel is even better.
The Bone Doll's Twin
is a sharply honed, powerful story where good and evil are as entwined as two children's lives, and salvation carries a very high price. Highly recommended.”

—ANNE BISHOP

“An intriguing prequel to Flewelling's splendid Nightrunner series and a solid beginning to a new triad of fantasy from a most generous and skilled fantasist,
The Bone Doll's Twin
will satisfy old fans and capture many new.”

—
PATRICK O'LEARY

“Masterful.… readers will be hooked.”

—
Bangor Daily News

“Magnificent, impressive … capture[s] some of the same flavor found in T. H. White's classic,
The Once and Future King
, as well as in Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books. Factor in some essence of Mervyn Peake, and you have a winning combination.”

—Realms of Fantasy

“Flewelling's Nightrunner books are popular among fantasy fans for a very simple reason—they're good.
The Bone Doll's Twin
continues that trend, and I look for her to be a major force in the future of fantasy.”

—
Monroe News-Star

“An intensely poignant tale that begs the question—how far should one go to change destiny. Lynn Flewelling delivers a tightly crafted narrative with vivid characters and a detailed background that quickly pulls the reader into her world.”

—Romantic Times

“It is the death of children that literally haunts this book, giving it a dark edge that takes
The Bone Doll's Twin
out of the realm of fantasy and into the world of amoral, ends-justifies-the-means politics.… Most of the characters are presented as people trying to do the right thing, and being caught up in events that leave them questioning just what the right thing to do is.… Flewelling's storytelling ability and strong prose make it all work.… It's a gripping beginning to a story that looks to become even deeper, more complex, more political, and more real as the series goes on.”

—
New York Review of Science Fiction

“Flewelling is the best thing that could have happened to the fantasy genre.”

—BookWeb

“Every now and then a book reminds me of why I originally started reading fantasy.
The Bone Doll's Twin
 … has the buzz. It's original, well written, and totally absorbing … by turns poignant, spooky, and earthy.… A moving and thoroughly recommended read.”

—
Starburst

“This terrific tale is dark and exciting, and the magic in it is truly wonderful.”

—
Booklist

Praise for the Nightrunner Series

Luck in the Shadows

“Memorable characters, an enthralling plot and truly daunting evil … The characters spring forth from the page not as well-crafted creations but as people … the magic is refreshingly difficult, mysterious, and unpredictable. Lynn Flewelling has eschewed the easy shortcuts of clichéd minor characters and cookie-cutter backdrops to present a unique world.… I commend this one to your attention.”

—
ROBIN HOBB

“Part high fantasy and part political intrigue,
Luck in the Shadows
makes a nice change from the usual ruck of contemporary sword-and-sorcery. I especially enjoyed Lynn Flewelling's obvious affection for her characters. At unexpected moments she reveals a well-honed gift for the macabre.”

—
STEPHEN R. DONALDSON

“A new star is rising in the fantasy firmament.… I am awed by the scope of the intricate world … it teems with magic and bustles with realistic people and spine-chilling amounts of skullduggery.”

—
DAVE DUNCAN

“A splendid read, filled with magic, mystery, adventure, and taut suspense. Lynn Flewelling, bravo! Nicely done.”

—DENNIS L. MCKIERNAN

“An engrossing and entertaining debut … full of magic, intrigues, and fascinating characters. Witty and charming, it's the kind of book you settle down with when you want a long, satisfying read.”

—
MICHAEL A. STACKPOLE

“Exceptionally well done and entertaining.”

—
Locus

“Lynn Flewelling has written a terrific first novel, a thrilling introduction to this series.… Highly recommended.”

—
Starlog

Stalking Darkness

“Flewelling is … bringing vigor back to the traditional fantasy form. In this highly engaging adventure novel, the most powerful magic is conjured out of friendship and loyalty. The author has a gift for creating characters you genuinely care about.”

—TERRI WINDLING
,
The Years's Best Fantasy and Horror
,
Eleventh Annual Collection

“Events move forward in this second adventure … it's up to four companions to stop Mardus's schemes. Things get very violent and there's also a strong emotional undercurrent … an amusing twist on the old ‘damsel in distress' scenario.”

—
Locus

“While fans … will find enough wizardry, necromancy, swords, daggers, and devilishly clever traps here to satisfy the most avid, this book also provides entry to a complete and richly realized world that will please more mainstream readers.”

—Bangor Daily News

Traitor's Moon

“What most fantasy aspires to
Traitor's Moon
achieves, with fierce craft, wit, and heart. It is a fantasy feast—richly imagined, gracefully wrought, and thrilling to behold. An intoxicating brew of strange and homely, horror and whimsy, lust and blood, intrigue and honor, great battles and greater loves. It is a journey through a world so strange and real you can taste it, with companions so mysterious and memorable you won't forget it. Lynn Flewelling is a fine teller of tales who delivers all she promises, cuts no corners, and leaves us dazzled, moved, and hungry for more.
Traitor's Moon
is a wonderful book.”

—
PATRICK O'LEARY

By Lynn Flewelling

Luck in the Shadows
Stalking Darkness
Traitor's Moon
The Bone Doll's Twin
Hidden Warrior
The Oracle's Queen
Shadows Return
The White Road

THE ORACLE'S QUEEN
A Bantam Spectra Book / July 2006

Published by Bantam Dell
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved
Copyright © 2006 by Lynn Flewelling

Bantam Books, the rooster colophon, Spectra, and the portrayal of a boxed “s” are trademarks of Random House, Inc.

eISBN: 978-0-307-48915-9

www.bantamdell.com

v3.1

For Patricia York
August 14, 1949–May 21, 2005

Wish you were here to see how this one ended. Thanks for always reminding me “it's not the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away.”

Catch you later, my good, dear friend.

Acknowledgments

Thanks, first and foremost to Dr. Doug, my main Muse and best friend. Also to Pat York, Anne Groell, Lucienne Diver, Matthew and Timothy Flewelling, Nancy Jeffers, Dr. Meghan Cope, and Bonnie Blanch for all their helpful feedback and patience, and to all the readers who've given me such great support over the years.

Contents

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