Canto 1 ONE
I reach for the end, though the end will not reach for me.
It has already reached for him.
He is gone
while I, locked in Judecca’s ice,
go on and on.
If I could name the nameless thing
My father burns, and living worms fall from his eyes.
They spew from his sundered flesh.
They pour from his open mouth.
It burns, my father cries. It burns!
His contagion, my inheritance.
If I could face the faceless thing
From the fire’s depths, I hear the discordant duet of their screams. I watch them dance in the final, fiery waltz.
My mother and father, dancing in flames.
If I could pull the two apart
If I could untangle the knot
Find one errant strand to tug
And lay out the thing from end to end
But there is no beginning nor ending nor anything in between
Beginnings are endings
And all endings are the same.
Time is a line
But we are circles.
The Final Descent
Will Henry has been through more than seems possible for a boy of fourteen. He’s been on the brink of death on more than one occasion, he has gazed into hell—and hell has stared back at him, and known his face. But through it all, Dr. Warthrop has been at his side.
When Dr. Warthrop fears that Will’s loyalties may be shifting, he turns on Will with a fury, determined to reclaim his young apprentice’s devotion. And so Will must face one of the most horrific creatures of his monstrumology career—and he must face it alone.
Over the course of one day, Will’s life—and Pellinor Warthrop’s destiny—will hang in the balance. In the terrifying depths of the Monstrumarium, they will face a monster more terrible than any they could have imagined—and their fates will be decided.
“Beyond a simple finale, this is a brave statement about the duplexity of good and evil, and the deadly trap in which all of us are snared” (Booklist, starred review).