City of the Rats (Deltora Quest #3)
Lief, Barda, and Jasmine--three companions with nothing in common but their hatred of the enemy--are on a perilous quest to recapture the seven lost gems of the magic Belt of Deltora. Only when the Belt is complete can the evil Shadow Lord be overthrown.
They have succeeded in finding the golden topaz and the great ruby. The two gems' mysterious powers have strengthened them and given them courage to move on in their search for the third stone. But none of them can know the horrors that await them in the forbidden City of the Rats.
Hide!” She threw Filli to the floor and he darted away. The people screamed at the sight of him, stumbling back, falling and trampling one another in their terror. He scampered through the gap in the crowd and was gone. But Lief, Barda, and Jasmine were trapped. And the Ra-Kacharz were upon them. The great logs in the meeting hall fireplace had been lit, and the blaze threw a ghastly red light over the faces of the prisoners. For hours they had stood there, while a useless search was made
“Ra-Kachaz!” she breathed. Sure enough, two red-clad figures were striding into the kitchens. “It is an inspection,” whispered Tira. The Ra-Kacharz moved quickly to a place where four cooks stood, their hands behind their backs. Hundreds of jars of sugared fruits, bright as jewels, were lined up on a counter, awaiting inspection. The Ra-Kacharz paced along the line of jars, staring at them closely. When they had reached the end, they turned and paced back again. This time they pointed at
face was beginning to relax. As they had hoped, the warmth, light, and food were giving her comfort. He gazed over her shoulder at the distant city. The red light was fading from its towers now. Hulked on the plain, it stood silent, grim, deserted…. Lief blinked. The last rays of the sun were playing tricks with his eyes. For a moment it had seemed as though the earth around the city were moving like water. He looked again, and frowned in puzzlement. The plain was moving. Yet there was no
The bubbles of light floated before him, shining on ruined walls, rusted metal brackets where torches had once burned, fragments of pots piled in heaps. Rats teemed in corners and clawed at his boots. He stumbled towards the city’s heart. The air grew thick and hard to breathe. The Belt around his waist throbbed with heat. “Lief!” he heard Barda shout. But he could not turn, or answer. He had reached a wide passage. At the end loomed a vast doorway. A sickening, musky smell billowed from
nostrils where his nose should be. Fie and Fly are green with large heads and dripping brown fangs. Hot and Tot are small and yellow. Zan has six stumpy legs. Pik and Snik are covered in brown hair. Lan and Lod are pale and bald. Zod is covered in lumps. Ichabod is huge, and slimy red. I have not labelled the monsters. But you, dear reader, can I am sure pick out which one is which. Unless you wish simply to turn your gaze away, and flick over the page. I would not blame you. Perhaps some