Blog Tour: Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas
Love fantasy adventure and magical schools?
Welcome to the World Quake series, about a group of magical students who are pitted against a secret organisation called The Diberi who are bent on destroying the universe. This is the fantasy trilogy I dreamed of as a kid, with a female protagonist at the centre, magical books, and dragons.
Galloglass sees Effie imprisoned, Wolf on a journey to find his missing sister and Neptune the cat faced with the disappearance of all the other cats. It also sees the raised as the Diberi threaten to destroy the universe.
I am delighted to have an extract here from the second chapter and will be hosting a giveaway over on my Twitter account. Do keep an eye out and check back for a full review later on.
Extract from Chapter 2 of Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas.
Euphemia Sixten Bookend Truelove, known as Effie, had been in the Otherworld since the end of school. Time worked differently there; three days in the Otherworld (they
called them moons) only took 57.3 minutes of Realworld time,
which meant it was always possible to slip off for a long weekend
there if you had an hour to spare.
But it took M-currency – also known as lifeforce – to stay in the Otherworld. People from the Realworld couldn’t store very much of it, and Effie’s seemed to run out particularly quickly. So she always had to leave too soon.
Today (in Otherworld time) Effie had woken up early in the large, comfortable bed in her lovely light room in Truelove House. This room always had fresh linen and clean towels, unlike in her Realworld home in the suburbs of the Old Town, where if Effie wanted anything cleaned she had to do it herself, and where it never got fully light at this time of year anyway. She’d looked at her watch – it told the time in both worlds – and
calculated that she’d have to leave the Otherworld by early evening if she wanted any chance of being back in the Realworld in time for supper.
But there was still a whole Otherworld day to enjoy, and Effie was going to spend it in the nearby town of Froghole with her cousin Clothilde. She was sure she’d have enough lifeforce for that.
As usual, the morning was warm and bright. After eating the lavish breakfast that Bertie the maid brought for her – a massive bowl of creamy porridge with maple syrup and fourflower jam, and soft toasted muffins with peanut butter, banana, chocolate chips and marshmallows, and a pot of tea – Effie dressed in the blue silk jumpsuit that Clothilde had made her. She brushed her hair and scraped it into a slightly more tidy ponytail than usual. Then she put on the long necklace that held a vial of deepwater that her friend Maximilian kept topped up for her. She didn’t have to put on the golden necklace that held her Sword of Light, because she never took it off. She’d stopped
wearing her Ring of the True Hero lately, because it seemed to drain her in ways she didn’t understand. She’d threaded it on a string to wear around her neck, but she usually didn’t even bother with that.
Soon there came a knock at the door, and her cousin’s voice.
‘Are you ready?’ Clothilde asked.
‘Nearly,’ said Effie. She took her wooden caduceus from where it was propped against the wall and used her magic to shrink it to the size of a hairpin. She admired the two snakes wrapped around it, and the wings carved into it. It had been a gift from
her Otherworld cousin Rollo. She tucked it into her hair at the back. ‘But do come in.’
Clothilde entered the room. She was wearing a long, flowing dress in one of the Otherworld colours that was close to what we would call yellow. It was something like summer parties and pale marzipan and the middles of soft cakes all mixed into one.
‘So, are you very excited about going to Froghole?’ Clothilde said.
‘Yes,’ replied Effie, grinning.
‘And getting your consultation at long last?’ Clothilde raised
‘Double yes,’ said Effie. ‘I mean, I don’t think they’re going to tell me that I’m not a true hero-interpreter but . . .’
‘It’s good to have it confirmed,’ said Clothilde. ‘And there’s your shade, of course. I guess you’ll already know all about it. I know what you’re like with The Repertory of Kharakter, Art & Shade. You must have read it fifty times by now.’ Clothilde
smiled. ‘Do you already know what you think you are?’
Effie shook her head. ‘No. I heard that if you find out too much about the shades in advance it can distort the results of the test. So it’s all still a complete mystery to me. I’ve saved that part of the book for after today.’ She smiled. Clothilde squeezed Effie’s arm gently. Effie knew how excited Clothilde was for her. It was so wonderful having someone who understood her so well.
In all the time she’d been visiting the Otherworld, Effie had still not actually been to an Otherworld town. People kept meaning to take her, but Pelham Longfellow – the other traveller who regularly visited Truelove House – was always being called away urgently to investigate ‘the Diberi situation in Europe’, and Clothilde couldn’t leave the Great Library for very long. But today, at long last, it was finally going to happen.‘And you’ll be getting your Keeper’s mark as well,’ said Clothilde.
‘I know,’ said Effie. ‘I can’t wait to be able to help you all in the Great Library. To be actually allowed to go in, and—’
‘Oh no!’ Clothilde suddenly put her hand to her mouth. ‘We’re supposed to do a sort of official induction in the Great Library before you get your Keeper’s mark. I can’t believe I
forgot. I think it’ll only take five minutes. We’ll do it before we
go. Is that all right?’
‘OK,’ said Effie. But somewhere nearby the sun seemed to go behind a cloud. It wasn’t that Effie was scared of the Great Library exactly – she wasn’t afraid of anything – but the last time she’d been in there she’d almost died.
‘I’ll go and get my things and wait for you downstairs,’ said Clothilde.
Effie found Clothilde in the entrance hall, carrying a large wicker basket that seemed to be full of tissue paper and colourful striped boxes. Her cousin now put these down and
took from around her neck the brass key that opened the Great
‘Ready?’ asked Clothilde.
‘Yes,’ said Effie, frowning slightly. ‘Definitely.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Is something wrong?’
Effie shook her head. She couldn’t lie and say no out loud. She couldn’t tell Clothilde about the slight headache that had just started. Was it because she was remembering what had happened last time she’d been in the Great Library? Or did it mean that she was running out of M-currency? Effie blinked and tried to put it completely out of her mind. Lexy had once told her that something between 90 percent and 100 percent of
pain was in the mind. Which meant you could control it – if you knew how. The first step was not believing in it, apparently. The wooden panelled doors to the Great Library were just underneath the large sweep of the grand staircase that went up to the gallery, where Effie’s room was, and the doorway leading to the staircase to Cosmo’s private study. Clothilde approached with the key. Effie gulped silently. Would it be like it had been
‘All right,’ said Clothilde. ‘You first.’
‘Really?’ said Effie.
‘We’re not going very far in,’ said Clothilde. ‘I just want to map your version of the Great Library onto mine, so that we can go together in future. While you’re being initiated it will help you to go into my version until you build up enough strength to go to your own. Eventually we’ll be able to merge our versions in order to be in there together. And then you’ll be able to visit your version on your own too. Does this make any kind of sense
‘Yes.’ Effie nodded. ‘I think so.’ She already knew that the Great Library was in a different dimension and in order to become real here it had to be sort of folded down into three
dimensions. Everyone did this in their own way, which meant the library looked different to each person who went in. Generating the library took lots of lifeforce. That was only one of the reasons it was dangerous.
Clothilde opened the door.