of the Nightwing
Book 1: The Ravenscliff Series
By Geoffrey Huntington
Published by Regan Books
August 2002; 0-060-01425-3; 279 pages
For one long moment the mournful howl of some distant animal obscures the sound of the wind. Devon March steps off the bus, one hand lugging his heavy suitcase, the other clasping the St. Anthony medal in his pocket, squeezing it so tightly that it pinches the flesh of his palms.
He feels the heat, even on this damp, windy, cold October night, the heat and the energy he's recognized ever since he was a small boy. They're out there, he thinks. In the night. Watching me, as they always have.
Behind him, the bus driver yanks the doors closed and the bus screeches off into the night.
The station is left in darkness, with just an autumn moon to light his way. Only one other person had gotten off the bus with him, a man whose footsteps now echo through the empty terminal ahead of him. The rain has not yet come, but Devon can feel it already in the wind and the salty dampness blowing up from the sea. Mr. McBride had said it would be this way. "Why else would they call it Misery Point?"
Devon walks out into the lot and looks around. A car had been promised to meet him. Perhaps they were just late; perhaps the bus had been a few minutes early. But as the shadows flicker in the windy moonlight, Devon can't shake his sudden sense of foreboding. He'd expected that the creatures would follow him here, that they wouldn't allow him simply to get away. What he hadn't expected was the intensity of the heat: always the sure signal that they were close by. From the moment he'd stepped off the bus, the heat had been far more intense than it ever had been in New York.
This place holds answers, the Voice inside himself says. That's why your father sent you here.
In the distance, thunder rumbles. What had the old woman said to him on the bus?
"You'll find no one there but ghosts."
"Excuse me," comes a voice, interrupting his thoughts.
Devon turns. In the empty parking lot stands a man -- the same who had gotten off the bus with him a moment ago. "Are you waiting for a ride?"
"Yeah," Devon tells him. "I was supposed to be met here."
The man carries a suitcase not unlike Devon's own. He looks to be in his thirties, tall, handsome, dark. "Well," he says, "I can't imagine a less hospitable place to be stood up. Do you need a ride into town?"
"I'm sure I'm not stood up," Devon tells him.
The man shrugs. "Okay, then. Just wouldn't want you to get caught in the rain."
Devon watches him. The man continues on his way to his car -- a silver Porsche -- parked a few yards away. It's the only car in the lot.
This man knows. This man knows what you came here to find.
The Voice comes to him as it always has: small, sure, far back in his mind. It's a voice unlike any other thought: clear, sharp speech that Devon cannot recognize as his own.
He knows, the Voice tells him again. Don't let him get away.
Just what the man knows Devon isn't sure, but one thing is certain: if he hopes to find answers in this place, he needs to listen to the Voice. It's never failed him before.
"Yo!" Devon calls.
But the wind has swelled up fiercely, drowning him out.
"Hey! Mister!" he calls again, louder.
The man, oblivious, opens his car door and slides inside. Devon hears the kick of the ignition. The car's headlights switch on.
There's no time, Devon thinks. He won't see me if I try to make a run for him.
There's only one way. He prays that it will work. He concentrates. The car begins to back out of the spot. Devon closes his eyes. He concentrates harder.
And suddenly the driver's door blows open.
"What the ... ?" the man shouts.
Devon grasps his suitcase tightly and begins to run toward the car.
"Hey!" he shouts.
The man leans out from the open door, finally aware of Devon. Yet he seems more concerned with checking his car door hinges than with the boy running up to him.
"Hey," Devon says, a little out of breath. "Your offer for a ride still hold?"
The man looks over at him, then quizzically back at his door. "Oh, yeah," he says. "Sure, kid. Jump in."
"You're the man," Devon says, beaming.
Yes, he is, agrees the Voice. A man with answers.
Answers Devon has come to Misery Point to find.
Devon March is fourteen years old. He's not like other boys; he's known that since age four, when he made his dog, Max, levitate across the room. One time, running a relay race with his best friend, Tommy, Devon had sprinted across the playground before any of the other kids had even left the starting point. He's stood face-to-face with demons -- so close he could see right up their flaring nostrils, demonic nose hair and all. That's not something he imagines many other kids his age can claim.
No, he's not like other boys. Not at all.
"You have a gift," his father had told him, ever since he was little. "You can do things others can't. Things people wouldn't understand. Things they might fear."
"But why, Dad? Why can I do these things?"
"Why doesn't matter, Devon. Just know that all power ultimately comes from good, and so long as you use your power in the pursuit of the light, you will always be stronger than whatever else is out there."
So they had kept the secret between them. Devon had grown up knowing he was different, but never knowing why. His father promised him that someday he would understand his destiny. But until then, he had only to trust in the power of good.
"Call it God, as many do," his father had told him, shortly before he died. "Call it a higher force, the spirit of the universe, the power of nature. It is all of these things. It is the light within you."
The foregoing is excerpted from Sorcerers of the Nightwing by Geoffrey Huntington. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
The first book in a spellbinding new fantasy series that picks up where the HARRY POTTER series and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER leave off.
Every kid fears the monsters in the closet -- but for Devon March, the monsters are all too real. Horrible things come slithering out across his floor, determined to drag him with them back down their Hellhole. But Devon is no ordinary young man. He can move objects with his mind, summon incredible strength, disappear at will -- and that's only what he has discovered he's capable of so far. Yet his powers -- and the demons in his closet -- remain for him unexplained mysteries.
At fourteen, Devon is sent to live at Ravenscliff, a dark seaside mansion, where he learns the first part of the secret of his powers: he is a sorcerer of the Order of the Nightwing, a three-thousand-year-old tradition of mysticism and magic that fascinates Devon with its fabled history. But Devon's new family, the Muirs, forbids him from discovering any more about his heritage, inexplicably terrified of what that knowledge might bring.
At Ravenscliff, Devon must contend not only with the demons but with a strange, precocious eight-year-old boy who may prove to be the link to the most fearful demon of all: the Madman, who wants to unleash the creatures of the Hellhole for his own malevolent gain. Ravenscliff is built over one of the largest Hellholes in the world, and the uninitiated Devon must fight off the demons with the help of his new friends from Misery Point High -- including the dazzling Cecily Crandall, raised at Ravenscliff and the holder of a few secrets herself.
Sorcerers of the Nightwing marks the debut of a compelling new fantasy-horror series, evoking a richly detailed and fully realized world of sorcerers and mystics, haunted houses and shadowed terrors, and the ever-present threat of the ancient creatures of the Hellhole.(back to top)
Geoffrey Huntington lives in a house by the sea not far from where the ghost of a pirate is said to eternally walk the cliffs in search of his lost gold. Under another name, he is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction.