Copyright © 2008 by Stephenie Meyer All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group USA 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Visit our Web site at www.lb-teens.com First eBook Edition: August 2008 Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc. The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc. Epigraph for Book Three from Empire by Orson Scott Card. A Tor Book. Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. Copyright © 2006 by Orson Scott Card. Reprinted with permission of the author. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. ISBN: 978-0-316-03283-4
This book is dedicated to my ninja/agent, Jodi Reamer. Thank you for keeping me off the ledge. And thanks also to my favorite band, the very aptly named Muse, for providing a saga’s worth of inspiration.
PREFACE 1. ENGAGED 2. LONG NIGHT 3. BIG DAY 4. GESTURE 5. ISLE ESME 6. DISTRACTION 7. UNEXPECTED
5 Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Edna St. Vincent Millay
I’d had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn’t something you ever really got used to. It seemed oddly inevitable, though, facing death again. Like I really was marked for disaster. I’d escaped time and time again, but it kept coming back for me. Still, this time was so different from the others. You could run from someone you feared, you could try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions... [continues]
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