Island of Legends (The Unwanteds)

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Contents

Acknowledgments

Other Nasty Places

A Looming Attack

A Word from Clive

A Mass of Tubes

Weapons of Mass Confusion

The Battle with Warbler

In a Panic

The New Unwanteds

A Journey into Quill

A Confrontation at the Palace

Paying Respects

Seeds of a New Plan

Wrapping Up Loose Ends

Another Creature

Mountains Bow Down

The Sky Vessel

Certain Death

The Book

The Live Spell

The Short, Uneventful Life of Spike Furious

Overwhelmed

The List

Another Journey Begins

A New Energy in the Palace

A Visit to Gondoleery’s

The Team

Watching and Waiting

In Over Her Head

An Unsettling Rift

The Quest Continues

The Bird’s-Eye View

A Most Peculiar Dinner

Breathe to Survive

Aaron Strikes a Deal

The Story of Eva Fathom

A Sighting

Sky’s Plan

Shiver Shake Volcano Quake

A Change of Plans

The Big Cat’s Worst Nightmare

Half Over

Fear Replanted

Just Keep Swimming

Flashes of Light

Spike Furious

The Tale of the Sacrifice

The Tale of the Statue

Back to the Jungle

Aaron Hatches a Plan

The Apology

The Island of Legends

A Brief Respite

The Tale of Talon

The Tales of Vido, the Dropbears, and Lhasa

The Return of the Eel

The First Life of LaRue

Palace Discord

While Everyone Slept

The Line of Possibility

A Breakup

A Final Tale

A Chilling Turn

Panther Goes for a Walk

Surprise Attack

To the West

The Edge of the World

About Lisa McMann

For Jackson

Acknowledgments

T
his series is such a joy to write thanks to you, my wonderful readers. If you’ve sent me a letter or e-mail, or found me on The Unwanteds Facebook page or on Twitter or Instagram (@lisa_mcmann), or gotten your friends interested in The Unwanteds, or made a book trailer, or created your own magic spells, or drawn characters from the book and sent them to me, or written your own stories, or invented something, or tried acting or singing or playing an instrument for the first time, or done science experiments, or found your own creative thing to do because of these books, then this page is for you. THANK YOU, Unwanted friend. It is because of you and your wonderful support that I can continue this story. I hope you find joy in the pages as well.

It’s important for you to know that even if I continued writing the story from my house in the desert land of Quill (oops, I mean Phoenix), it wouldn’t get into your hands without the help of dozens of people who know how to make magic happen. People like my agent, Michael Bourret; my editor, Liesa Abrams, and her editorial team; publisher Mara Anastas; and the shockingly wise Lauren Forte, who has hawk eyes (actual hawk eyes, I’m not kidding). She’s like that teacher who catches every single one of your mistakes, but she’s really nice about it—you know what I’m talking about? And because of that I learn so much and hopefully end up making fewer mistakes next time.

There are so many others at Simon & Schuster who play a huge part in putting this book together so that you can read it. You noticed the cover, I’m sure—Owen Richardson is the talented artist who draws all the Unwanteds covers, and Karin Paprocki designs them with a little help from her team. A designer figures out how to lay out everything, determines which fonts to use, and decides how the inside pages look with those giant capital letters and cool little origami dragons at each chapter. Wouldn’t that be a fun job to have?

Another important part of the team is the production department. They work with the printer on getting the books printed correctly, and they make sure all the special effects on the cover are perfect.

Lucille (who gives the best hugs) and Carolyn (who tells the funniest stories) and the rest of my marketing team at S&S do a ton of awesome stuff. They’re the ones who bring you cool giveaways and contests at places like
KidzBop.com
and
Goodreads.com
, and at the various S&S social media pages. They also make the bookmarks and stickers that go with this series, and they along with Matt maintain
TheUnwantedsSeries.com
website. And my publicity team is constantly working to send me around the country so I can do presentations at your schools and at book festivals and trade shows.

Michelle and Anthony are part of the incredible library and education team that works on this series, bringing it to the attention of your teachers and librarians. One cool thing I know you’ll enjoy is the curriculum guide to the series written by Kathleen Odean. It’s filled with fascinating and thought-provoking questions about what happens in the books. If you’re an educator, homeschooling parent, or a superfan of any age, you’re going to want to see it. And the best part is that it’s free. You can find a link to it on
TheUnwantedsSeries.com
or here:
http://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/tagged_assets/12838_unwanteds_cg.pdf

Reader, you would never have heard of this series if it weren’t for the sales team. The sales team travels from place to place within the US and in other countries too, showing books to the bookstore people and telling them what the series is about months before the books even come out. If the people who work in the stores had never heard of The Unwanteds, they wouldn’t order the books for their stores, and you wouldn’t find them on the shelves. So it’s pretty obvious that being on a sales team is a really crucial part of the process that many people don’t even think about. (But now you know!)

And even if everyone I mentioned so far did their jobs perfectly, there is still one very necessary cog to the wheel—and that is the booksellers themselves. They are the coolest people of all (I know, because I used to be one)! They order and stock their physical and virtual shelves with books they think their customers will like. And that’s where you come in—if you tell the booksellers what books you like, and if you ask them to order the books you are interested in, guess what? They will. So remember that the next time you can’t find the book you want.

Finally, the last key player in the book process is you. And even though I sound like a broken record, there would be no Unwanteds series without you (or your beautiful parents) who buy the books. And just as important as you, the reader, is your friend who hasn’t heard about The Unwanteds yet. Because, thanks to you, they might just find out, and then everybody wins.

I hope you enjoy
Island of Legends
. Many of you have told me that a year is just too long to wait between books, so my team and I decided to work extra hard to bring you the next three books in the series every six months. When you are finished reading
Island of Legends
, look for Book 5:
Island of Shipwrecks
in February 2015, Book 6 in September 2015, and Book 7 in February 2016.

xox

Lisa

Other Nasty Places

A
aron Stowe, the high priest of Quill, blinked and turned his head. It was dark as pitch. A moment before, he’d been running through the chaos in Artimé, wrists shackled in front of him. He’d stumbled up the marble staircase of the mansion and flown down the last hallway on the left, all the way to the end of it, and taken a sharp right turn into the kitchenette, which is where he’d arrived from in the first place. He’d stepped into the glass tube that had brought him here, and looked at all the buttons as the voices behind him grew louder. The tube in Haluki’s office closet had only one button, but this . . . As the panic
rose to his throat, Aaron raised his hands and pressed down, hitting all the buttons at once. Instantly the light disappeared.

Had he gone back to Haluki’s house? Perhaps one of the closet’s double doors had swung shut. Aaron raised his arms in front of him, finding the opening in the tube so he could exit. He reached his shackled hands through it and felt nothing but air. No closet doors. Nothing solid at all.

He gingerly stepped one foot outside the tube. The surface below was uneven, not floorlike at all. In fact, it felt like dirt, but not well-packed dirt like a road in Quill. The earth beneath him had not been heavily trod upon for quite some time. Perhaps never.
Well, it couldn’t be never
, Aaron reasoned.
Someone had to have put the tube here.

He sniffed and hung on to the side of the tube’s opening. He could smell dampness in the air, like Quill an hour after a rare downpour, only this was somehow richer. Earthier. The scent of mint was in the air as well, and he could hear something trickling, a brook or a stream not far away. It seemed like it could be pleasant here, but it was different and unexpected, and therefore quite frightening to someone from Quill.

“What is this place?” Aaron whispered, straining to see
something. Anything. His fingers trembled, and he gripped the edge of the tube opening even harder. He turned his head to look back inside the tube, but if there were any buttons, they weren’t visible in the darkness.

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