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By Alan Dean Foster

Marooned in one other universe, a tender American musician leads a motley military in conflict opposed to an enemy that threatens to damage their international and ours Jon-Tom simply desired to move domestic. Trapped in a global the place animals converse and magic is actual, the yankee university scholar yearned for a normal dorm-room existence. yet right here his song has magical power-even if he cannot keep an eye on it-which are able to retailer the realm from the military of the Plated folks, whose sinister queen plans on killing and consuming each warm-blooded mammal she will be able to get her pincers on and taking on their lands. the good conflict is coming, and Jon-Tom, whose posse encompasses a wizarding turtle, a cowardly bat, and an otter with a dirty brain, needs to elevate a military to struggle it. to discover allies they have to make an very unlikely trip, throughout mountains and rivers nobody has ever handed sooner than. Survival could be a miracle-but Jon-Tom isn't any usual musician.

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She stood on the bow, her knife and sword bare within the glow-light, and pointed to the land. numerous creatures have been marching towards the boat. They have been similar to the chronic pushers within the water. All have been nearly 5 ft tall and skinny to the purpose of emaciation. They have been faintly human, stories of almost-people parading in unison. legs and palms. They have been nude yet smooth-bodied and without exterior intercourse organs. For that topic they displayed not anything within the means of differentiating features. they may were stamped from a unmarried mildew. Their white flesh was once actually white, blank-white, like milk and bordering on translucence. tiny coal-pit eyes sat within the puttylike heads the place actual eyes should were. there have been no scholars, no ears or nostrils, and just a flat slit of a mouth slicing the flesh lower than the eye-dots. palms had brief hands, which in addition to the legs seemed jointless as rubber. In time to the track they marched towards the send, waving their fingers slowly and hypnotically whereas making a song their moaning, methodical music. Jon-Tom regarded to Clothahump. The wizard seemed baffled. “I don’t comprehend, my boy. not one of the legends says something a few tribe of albino chanters dwelling within the Throat. ” He referred to as to the marchers. “What are you referred to as? what's it you will want people? ” “What do we do for you? ” Flor requested, including anything unintelligible in Spanish. The singers didn't reply. They descended the mild slope of the seashore with fluid grace. those within the lead all started attaining, clutching over the railing. of them grabbed Talea’s correct arm. “Ease again there,” she ordered them, pulling away. they didn't allow pass and persevered to drag at her insistently. a number of different light singers have been already at the deck and have been pulling with comparable sufferer choice at Jon-Tom and Mudge. “’Ere now, you chilly buggerers, take your bloody ’ands off me! ” The otter twisted loose. So did Talea and Jon-Tom. but the faded viewers wordlessly saved advancing, groping for the strangers. one other sound quietly crammed the cavern. It seeped around the river and ruled the increase and fall of the expressionless choir. A deep, low moaning, it was once in enormous distinction to the melody of the white singers. It used to be on no account great. in reality, it looked as if it would Jon-Tom that it embodied each overtone of risk and malignance one can placed right into a unmarried moan. It issued from someplace again within the black depths, past the place the singers had come from. “That’s approximately enough,” acknowledged Bribbens firmly. He hefted his backup guidance sweep and started swinging it on the singers stumbling approximately on deck. of them went down with unforeseen loss of resistance. Their heads bounced like a couple of rubber balls around the deck. The black eyespots by no means twitched and so they uttered no longer a note of discomfort. Their making a song, notwithstanding, ceased. one of many skulls bounced over the railing and landed within the water with a moderate splash, to sink quick out of sight. A surprised Bribbens paused to stare on the decapitated corpses.

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