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Opening Lines of Current Books

Mostly fantasy novels. Key at bottom of page.

   There was snow everywhere--the world was white.
   It must have been warmer in the Land of the Dead, he thought, mocking himself, mocking the senseless universe. I should never have left.
   Snow and ice and wind and blood...

Dry leaves of myriad hues rattled on their branches, and evening's grayness settled over the kingdom of Béarn. Autumn winds whipped Tae Kahn's hair around his Eastern-swarthy features, hindering vision. Aided by self-made bracers fitted with steel claws, he clung to castle walls carved directly from the mountain.

The storm raged beyond the palace walls. In a southern suite, an old man dozed fitfully in his chair, now and then muttering some long-ago name before sinking back into deeper slumber. As the thunder built, his sleep grew more restless until finally he awoke with a start.

It was nearing sunset, and the quiet waters of the Vale of Avalon were overlaid with gold. Here and there tussocks of green and brown raised their heads above the quiet waters, blurred by the glimmering haze which at autumn's end veiled the marshes even when the sky was clear. At the center of the Vale one pointed tor rose above the others, crowned with standing stones.

The woman in the bed was very weak. Sweat streamed from her: it was August, and the morning air was still and hot in the close stone chamber. The huge mound of her belly barely moved. She had been in labor for two days, long for one so small and delicate as she. The room smelled of sweat, blood, and herb-smoke.

The last gleaming sliver of Komarr's true-sun melted out of sight beyond the low hills on the western horizon. Lagging behind it in the vault of the heavens, the reflected fire of the solar mirror sprang out in brilliant contrast to the darkening, purple-tinged blue.

Sweating and nauseated, Father Emilio Sandoz sat on the edge of his bed with his head in what was left of his hands.

There were five of us--Carruthers and the new recruit and myself, and Mr. Spivens and the verger. It was late afternoon on November the fifteenth, and we were in what was left of Coventry Cathedral, looking for the bishop's bird stump.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Lady of Avalon = D
Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr = F
Elizabeth A. Lynn, Dragon's Winter = E
Fiona Patton, The Painter Knight = C
Mickey Zucker Reichert, The Children of Wrath = B
Mary Doria Russell, Children of God = G
Tad Williams, Otherland, Volume Two: River of Blue Fire = A
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog = H
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