Francesca Haig The Fire Sermon

ISBN 13: 9780007563081

The Fire Sermon

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9780007563081: The Fire Sermon

Nuclear war, dystopian unrest, a genetic mutation that divides twins in life and unites them in death—the “refreshingly nuanced” (Booklist, starred review) first novel in award-winning poet Francesca Haig’s richly imagined and action-packed post-apocalyptic trilogy “is poised to become the next must-read hit” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

Four hundred years after a nuclear apocalypse, all humans are born in pairs: the deformed Omegas, who are exploited and oppressed, and their Alpha twins, who have inherited the earth—or what’s left of it. But despite their claims of superiority, the Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare Omega whose mutation is psychic foresight—not that she needs it to know that as her powerful twin, Zach, ascends the ranks of the ruling Alpha Council, she’s in grave danger. Zach has a devastating plan for Omega annihilation. Cass has visions of an island where a bloody Omega resistance promises a life of freedom. But her real dream is to discover a middle way, one that would bring together the sundered halves of humanity. And that means both the Council and the resistance have her in their sights.

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About the Author:

Francesca Haig grew up in Tasmania, gained her PhD from the University of Melbourne, and was a senior lecturer at the University of Chester. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies in both Australia and England, and her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. The Fire Sermon, her first novel, was published in 2015. She lives in London with her husband and son. Visit FrancescaHaig.com and follow her on Twitter @FrancescaHaig.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Fire Sermon

chapter 1

I’d always thought they would come for me at night, but it was the hottest part of the day when the six men rode onto the plain. It was harvest time; the whole settlement had been up early and would be working late. Decent harvests were never guaranteed on the blighted land permitted to Omegas. Last season, heavy rains had released deeply buried blast-ash in the earth. The root vegetables had come up tiny, or not at all. A whole field of potatoes grew downward—we found them, blind-eyed and shrunken, five feet under the mucky surface. A boy drowned digging for them. The pit was only a few yards deep, but the clay wall gave way and he never came up. I’d thought of moving on, but all the valleys were rain-clogged, and no settlement welcomed strangers in a hungry season.

So I’d stayed through the bleak year. The others swapped stories about the drought, when the crops had failed three years in a row. I’d only been a child then, but even I remembered seeing the carcasses of starved cattle, sailing the dust fields on rafts of their own bones. But that was more than a decade ago. This won’t be as bad as the drought years, we said to one another, as if repetition would make it true. The next spring, we watched the stalks in the wheat fields carefully. The early crops came up strong, and the long, engorged carrots we dug that year were the source of much giggling among the younger teenagers. From my own small plot I harvested a fat sack of garlic, which I carried to market in my arms like a baby. All spring I watched the wheat in the shared fields growing sturdy and tall. The lavender behind my cottage was giddy with bees and, inside, my shelves were loaded with food.

It was midharvest when they came. I felt it first. Had been feeling it, if I were honest with myself, for months. But now I sensed it clearly, a sudden alertness that I could never explain to anybody who wasn’t a seer. It was a feeling of something shifting: like a cloud moving across the sun, or the wind changing direction. I straightened, scythe in hand, and looked south. By the time the shouts came, from the far end of the settlement, I was already running. As the cry went up and the six mounted men galloped into sight, the others ran, too—it wasn’t uncommon for Alphas to raid Omega settlements, stealing anything of value. But I knew what they were after. I knew, too, that there was little point in running. That I was six months too late to heed my mother’s warning. Even as I ducked under the fence and sprinted toward the boulder-strewn edge of the settlement, I knew they would get me.

They barely slowed to grab me. One simply scooped me up as I ran, snatching the earth from under my feet. He knocked the scythe from my hand with a blow to my wrist and threw me facedown across the front of the saddle. When I kicked out, it only seemed to spur the horse to greater speed. The jarring, as I bounced on my ribs and guts, was more painful than the blow had been. A strong hand was on my back, and I could feel the man’s body over mine as he leaned forward, pressing the horse onward. I opened my eyes, but shut them again swiftly when I was greeted by the upside-down view of the hoof-whipped ground bolting by.

Just when we seemed to be slowing and I dared to open my eyes again, I felt the insistent tip of a blade at my back.

“We’re under orders not to kill you,” he said. “Not even to knock you out, your twin said. But anything short of that, we won’t hesitate, if you give us any trouble. I’ll start by slicing a finger off, and you’d better believe I wouldn’t even stop riding to do it. Understand, Cassandra?”

I tried to say yes, managed a breathless grunt.

We rode on. From the endless jolting and the hanging upside down, I was sick twice—the second time on his leather boot, I noted with some satisfaction. Cursing, he stopped his mount and hauled me upright, looping a rope around my body so that my arms were bound at my sides. Sitting in front of him, the pressure in my head was eased as the blood flowed back down to my body. The rope cut into my arms, but at least it held me steady, grasped firmly by the man at my back. We traveled that way for the rest of the day. At nightfall, when the dark was slipping over the horizon like a noose, we stopped briefly and dismounted to eat. Another of the men offered me bread, but I could manage only a few sips from the water flask, the water warm and musty. Then I was again hoisted up, in front of a different man now, his black beard prickling the back of my neck. He pulled a sack over my head, but in the darkness it made little difference.

I sensed the city in the distance, long before the clang of hoofs beneath us indicated that we’d reached paved roads. Through the sack covering my face, glints of light began to show. I could feel the presence of people all about me—more even than at Haven on market day. Thousands of them, I guessed. The road steepened as we rode on, slowly now, the hoofs noisy on cobbles. Then we halted, and I was passed, almost tossed, down to another man, who dragged me, stumbling, for several minutes, pausing often while doors were unlocked. Each time we moved on, I heard the doors being locked again behind us. Each scrape of a bolt sliding back was like another blow.

Finally, I was pushed down onto a soft surface. I heard a rasp of metal behind me, a knife sliding from a sheath. Before I had time to cry out, the rope around my body fell away, slit. Hands fumbled at my neck, and the sack was ripped from my head, the rough burlap grazing my nose. I was on a low bed, in a small room. A cell. There was no window. The man who’d untied me was already locking the metal door behind him.

Slumped on the bed, the taste of mud and vomit in my mouth, I finally allowed myself to cry. Partly for myself, and partly for my twin; for what he’d become.

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Francesca Haig
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Descripción HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. BORN AS TWINSRAISED AS ENEMIESBOUND BY DEATH Cass is born a few minutes after her brother, Zach. Both infants are perfect, but only one is a blessing; only one is an Alpha. The other child must be cast out. But with no discernible difference, other than their genders, their parents cannot tell which baby is tainted. Perfect twins. So rare, they are almost a myth. But sooner or later the Omega will slip up. It will eventually show its true self. The polluted cannot help themselves. Then its face can be branded. Then it can be sent away. Nº de ref. de la librería ARG9780007563081

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Descripción Harper Voyager, 2015. Estado de conservación: New. What would you do if you had to leave everything you knew behind? If what made you perfect also made you an outcast? If your twin, once your only friend, was now your worst enemy? Num Pages: 432 pages. BIC Classification: FM; YFH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (Y) Teenage / Young Adult. Dimension: 199 x 129 x 29. Weight in Grams: 306. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780007563081

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Descripción HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. BORN AS TWINSRAISED AS ENEMIESBOUND BY DEATH Cass is born a few minutes after her brother, Zach. Both infants are perfect, but only one is a blessing; only one is an Alpha. The other child must be cast out. But with no discernible difference, other than their genders, their parents cannot tell which baby is tainted. Perfect twins. So rare, they are almost a myth. But sooner or later the Omega will slip up. It will eventually show its true self. The polluted cannot help themselves. Then its face can be branded. Then it can be sent away. Nº de ref. de la librería ARG9780007563081

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Publisher/Verlag: HarperCollins UK | When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. The complete set. They would have been disbelieving - nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Since the blast that reshaped the earth, only twins are born. The imperfect one of each pair is branded at birth and sent away. Twins share nothing but the moment of their death: when one dies, so does the other. But Cass and her twin Zach cannot be separated.In this scorched and broken world, Cass's bond with her brother may be the most dangerous thing of all. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 306 gr | 200x130x25 mm | 432 pp. Nº de ref. de la librería K9780007563081

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Descripción Harper Voyager. Estado de conservación: New. What would you do if you had to leave everything you knew behind? If what made you perfect also made you an outcast? If your twin, once your only friend, was now your worst enemy? Num Pages: 432 pages. BIC Classification: FM; YFH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (Y) Teenage / Young Adult. Dimension: 199 x 129 x 29. Weight in Grams: 306. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780007563081

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Descripción HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. BORN AS TWINSRAISED AS ENEMIESBOUND BY DEATH Cass is born a few minutes after her brother, Zach. Both infants are perfect, but only one is a blessing; only one is an Alpha. The other child must be cast out. But with no discernible difference, other than their genders, their parents cannot tell which baby is tainted. Perfect twins. So rare, they are almost a myth. But sooner or later the Omega will slip up. It will eventually show its true self. The polluted cannot help themselves. Then its face can be branded. Then it can be sent away. Nº de ref. de la librería APE9780007563081

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Descripción HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Fire Sermon, Francesca Haig, What would you do if you had to leave everything you knew behind? If what made you perfect also made you an outcast? If your twin, once your only friend, was now your worst enemy? Since the blast that reshaped the earth, only twins are born. The imperfect one of each pair is branded at birth and sent away. Twins share nothing but the moment of their death: when one dies, so does the other. But Cass and her twin Zach cannot be separated. In this scorched and broken world, Cass's bond with her brother may be the most dangerous thing of all. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780007563081

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Descripción Harper Voyager 2015-07-30, 2015. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-HCL-00005302

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