A MILLENNIUM AFTER the formidable war machines of the User cultures devoured entire civilizations and rewrote planetary geography, Earth is in the grip of a perpetual Dark Age. Scientific endeavor is strongly discouraged, while remnant technology is locked away—hidden by a Church determined to prevent a new Armageddon.
This is the world to which Benzamir Michael Mahmood must return. A descendant of the tribes who fled the planet during those ages old wars, he comes in pursuit of enemies from the far reaches of space. The technology he brings is wondrous beyond the imaginings of those he will meet, but can its potency match that of the Church’s most closely guarded treasure?
For centuries it has lain dormant, but it is about to be unearthed, and the powers that will be unleashed may be beyond anyone’s capacity to control. Even a man as extraordinary as Benzamir . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Lost Art|
|Release Date: 06-10-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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|Parent title||The Lost Art|
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The Lost Art
The smell of smoke woke him up, and Va realized he should never have been asleep in the first place. He got back onto his knees in the forest clearing, wiped the cold fragments of pine needles from his face and blew out a breath that condensed into a white cloud. Above him, snow-laden branches creaked and swayed against a pale southern sky.
He shut his eyes and tried to empty his mind of the concerns of the world. His fingers tightened around the cross in his hands. He ignored the coarseness of his habit, the steady drip of ice water from the firs that patted his bowed head. His lips might be blue, but they could still move in the trembling mouthing of rote prayers.
The drift of the wind brought the smoke back to him. As it entered his nose, it touched that part of his memory which he had thought locked away for ever.
Va stood. He turned slowly, letting his senses tell him which way to go. Then, with a feeling bordering on sickness, he started to run. The tears that streamed down his face never dared to blind him.
The closer he got, the stronger the stench of fire and oil and meat became. He knew what it meant even though he couldn’t see through the forest. He hesitated only once, when he burst through the tree line and found that his world was on fire. Then he plunged through the swinging, smouldering gates of the monastery of Saint Samuil of Arkady. There were so many dead that Va couldn’t find anyone who could tell him what had happened.
The five-domed basilica glowed brightly from the inside. It didn’t stop him from going in, again and again, calling out, listening above the roar of the flames and the cracking of