The Hour of the Gate (The Spellsinger Adventures)
Alan Dean Foster
Marooned in another universe, a young American musician leads a motley army in battle against an enemy that threatens to destroy their world and ours Jon-Tom just wanted to go home. Trapped in a world where animals speak and magic is real, the American college student yearned for an ordinary dorm-room life. But here his music has magical power-even if he can't control it-which may be able to save the world from the army of the Plated Folk, whose sinister queen plans on killing and eating every warm-blooded mammal she can get her pincers on and taking over their lands. The great battle is coming, and Jon-Tom, whose posse includes a wizarding turtle, a cowardly bat, and an otter with a filthy mind, must raise an army to fight it. To find allies they must make an impossible journey, across mountains and rivers no one has ever passed before. Survival will be a miracle-but Jon-Tom is no ordinary musician.
instruments for preparing meat and fruit there was also a surprising garbage pile of small insect carcasses and empty nuts. It was an eclectic and indiscriminate diet. Perhaps it also included bats. He shuddered, drew his wings tighter around his small body. One more room, he told himself. One more, and den if da boss wants more info he can damn well climb up and look for himself. He entered the next chamber, found more furniture and little else. He was ready to leave when something tickled his
Gossameringue had been positively palatial. No friendly Ananthos would be appearing here to rectify a mistaken imprisonment, however. “Welcome back to the world of the living,” said Bribbens. Good times or bad, the boatman’s expression never seemed to change. The moisture in the cell did not bother him, of course. “I should’ve stayed on my boat,” he added with a sigh. “Maybe we all ought to ‘ave stayed on your boat, mate,” said a disconsolate Mudge. It occurred to Jon-Tom that Bribbens
not as part of an enduring legend but a brief meal. He missed the steady confidence of Clothahump. Even if unable to save them through wizardly means, he wished the turtle were present to raise their spirits with his calm, knowledgeable words. “Any idea what time it’s to be?” The windowless walls shut out time as well as space. “No idea.” Caz grinned ruefully at him. “You’re the spellsinger. You tell me.” “I’ve already explained that I can’t do anything without the duar.” “Then you ought to
behind the front. The panic spread rapidly, an insidious infection as damaging as any fatal disease. Soon it appeared that the entire Plated Folk army was in retreat, pursued by yelling, howling warmlanders. The soldiers at the Gate broke out in whoops of joy. A few expressed disappointment at not having been in on the fight. Only Clothahump stood quietly on his side of the Gate, Aveticus on the other. The wizard was staring with aged eyes at the field of battle, squinting through his glasses
the British fighter nicknamed the Eagle, bristling with rockets and rapid-fire cannon. Anything to get him into the air. He sang till his throat hurt, his fingers a blur above the strings. Reverberant waves of sound emerged from the quivering duar and the air vibrated in sympathy. A deep-throated crackling split the sky overhead, a sound no kin to any earthly thunder. It seemed the sun had drawn back to hide behind the clouds. The fighting did not stop, but warmlander and insect alike slowed