Read The Hotel Under the Sand Online
Authors: Kage Baker
The Hotel Under the Sand
“Wow! I read
The Hotel Under the Sand with
delight and joy. It’s wonderful, wacky and spooky and serious and FUN. It also strikes me as utterly original (which is quite rare). In fact—although this is something one should always say with some caution—it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be a classic and went on down the ages along with
and the very few others that have become immortal.”
—Diana Wynne Jones, author of
Howl’s Moving Castle
The Hotel Under the Sand will
grab you on Page One and never let you go until you finish reading and beg for more. Young Emma is exactly the kind of little girl I wish I’d had for a sister, and would love to have for a daughter. She’s smart, brave, and good. Her adventures are wonderful, her companions are amazing, and
The Hotel Under the Sand will
send you back to the bookshop to search for every Kage Baker book you can find.”
—Richard A. Lupoff, author
“I read it all in one sitting, enjoying the characters and the well-crafted plot very much, and want to read it soon to my granddaughters. Kage Baker used the fantasy structure with a light touch, reassuring but exciting, and the Wenlocke itself is a wonderful creation. Baker writes well without writing down to her young audience, in fact, she invites them to stretch and reach.”—Cecilia Holland, author of
Until the Sun Falls
“She’s an edgy, funny, complex, ambitious writer with the mysterious, true gift of story-telling.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin, author of
A Wizard of Earthsea
“Kage Baker has a very good fantasy career in front of her… Her style is infused with a subtle humor that had me chuckling… She kept turning me in directions that I hadn’t expected.”
—Anne McCaffrey, author of
“Eccentric and often very funny…. Baker piles on such delights for anyone who wants more from fantasy than an epic journey to battle evil.”
“A fresh, audacious, ambitious new voice, wry, jazzy, irreverent, sharp as a razor, full of daring, dash and élan, sometimes surprisingly lyrical. She is also one hell of a storyteller. If you’re reading something by Kage Baker, fasten your seat belt—you’re in for a wild ride.”
—Gardner Dozois, editor of
The Year’s Best Science Fiction
“An unusual mix of mortals, all-too-fallible immortals, a generous dollop of antic wit…”—
San Francisco Chronicle
“Ms. Baker is the best thing to happen to modern science fiction since Connie Willis or Dan Simmons. She mixes adventure, history and societal concerns in just the right amount, creating an action-packed but thoughtful read.”—
“Historical detail and fast-paced action with a good dose of ironic wit and a dollop of bittersweet romance.”—
“If there’s a better time-travel series out there, go find it.”
, starred review
“Listen closely, and perhaps you will hear the collective sigh of delight from intelligent lovers of fantasy the world over.—
“Wise, sad, sometimes wildly funny—no Company fan will want to miss Baker’s rousing, astonishing conclusion.”—
, starred review
OVER DESIGN BY
, CA 94107
ISBN 13: 978-1-892391-89-6
RINTED IN THE
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
So blessed with brains, heart and courage,
she needs no wizard.
LEVERNESS AND BRAVERY
are absolutely necessary for good adventures.
Emma was a little girl both clever and brave, and destined—so you might think—to do well in any adventure that came her way. But the first adventure Emma had was dreadful.
One day a storm came and swept away everything that Emma had, and everything that Emma knew. When it had done all that, it swept away Emma too.
It might have been a storm with black winds, with thunder and lightning and rising waves. It might have been a storm with terrible anger and policemen coming to the door, and strangers, hospitals, courtrooms, and nightmares. It might have been a storm with soldiers, and fire, and hiding in cellars listening to shooting overhead. There are different kinds of storms.
But Emma faced the storm that swept over her, and found a way to save herself. She kept her head above water, and kept swimming even when she was tired. She didn’t think about all the things that might be in the dark. She didn’t drift, feeling sorry for herself. When she spotted a floating tree, she pushed herself to swim faster, and soon she caught up to it and was able to climb aboard.
She blew along on the angry water, clinging to a tree trunk, driven by the pitiless wind, but she held tight and kept her wits about her. After a long time she saw land, far away on the horizon.
As she sailed closer, Emma saw a golden wilderness of sand dunes, hills and mountains of bright sand. The wind kicked up plumes of it, whirling into the sky.
Soon she heard breakers crashing on the shore, and knew it was time to watch out. Whump! The tree trunk ran aground and Emma scrambled free, and crawled out of the waves on her hands and knees. The warm sand above the tide line felt nice, so she lay down there and rested awhile. Then she stood up and looked around her.
There was nothing to see but the dunes and the ocean. Emma found herself all alone, with nothing but the dress she had on, in a wilderness of shifting sands.
She wanted to cry, but Emma knew that if she started crying now for everyone and everything she had lost, she would never be able to stop crying. So she dusted herself off instead, and started walking away down the beach to explore. She had no idea where she was, but knew it must be close to where people lived, or had once lived, because she could see a double line of old pier pilings, worn down so far they looked like black broken teeth, stretching out across the low tide flat. And as she looked up and down the beach in both directions, she could see pieces of shipwrecks, littering the beach for miles.
Emma decided to climb up a sand dune. The dunes were quite high—much taller than they had looked from the open sea—and she thought that if she could look in every direction, she might see a town. She climbed and climbed, wading in the hot sand, up a ripple-sided mountain. But when she got to the top, all she could see, stretching away forever under the noonday sun, were more rippled mountains and steep sliding valleys of sand.