This week I (Madame Sidler) read chapters six through eleven of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, and I present to you now the following excerpt. It’s another one I love reading aloud. I love the whole chapter, in fact, but that would be a bit long for an excerpt, so you’ll have to let this snippet draw you back to the book so you can read it yourself. And when you get to the song, sing. 🙂
In the churning white waters at the base of Fingap Falls, a long, graceful shape burst from the surface. Its skin caught and magnified the light of the moon. The sea dragon was easily twice the height of the tallest tree in Glipwood Forest. Its reddish body glimmered like a living fire. The head was crowned with two curved horns and its fins spread out behind it like wings. Indeed, it looked as if it might actually fly, but the dragon wheeled in the air and crashed into the sea with what must have been a sound like thunder but was inaudible over the constant roar of the waterfall.
At that moment, the dragon song rose into the air on a bright wind and filled the people gathered on the cliffs with a thousand feelings— some peaceful, some exhilarating, all more alive than usual. … All of the passion and sadness and joy of those who listened wound into one common strand of feeling that was to Janner like homesickness, though he couldn’t think why; he was just a short walk from the only home he’d ever known.
The song continued, and more dragons exploded out of the water . They spun in the air and hung there for a moment before slamming back into the sea. Scores of horned bull dragons, amber and shimmering gold, swam circles around the thinner and more sleek mares that burst out of the water and over them in an intricate pattern. Now even the roar of Fingap Falls was not as loud as the crash of the many dragons into the Dark Sea. The strains of the song entwined and followed one another until a haunting melody emerged. Janner thought, as he thought every summer the dragons came, that there could be nothing more beautiful in all the world.
Leeli was still as a statue, her hands clasped at her chest. Janner heard a whisper of sound mingling with the dragon song as her lips moved like she was trying to remember the words to a song, or like she was praying. Her gaze was far away, resting somewhere beyond the dragons. A slight, sweet melody, the beauty of which Janner had never heard before, drifted from Leeli’s mouth. Janner looked at her with wonder. He was so enthralled with her song he scarcely noticed that after a moment it was all he heard.
The dragons had fallen silent.
They had halted their dance and were gazing up at the cliffs. Though they were leagues away and the dusk made it difficult to see, Janner knew with a shudder that the sea dragons were watching them.
They were listening.
—From chapter 10, “Leeli and the Dragon Song”
If you’ve been reading along with us, which parts did you love best? And if you’re somewhere else in the books, that’s fine—I’d love to read your favorite lines, too!
In the forum this week, we’ve been talking about the Green Hollows, healing, trust and betrayal, how to pronounce names like Gnag and Armulyn, and the way the series ended. Come join us!