Download The Red Queen PDF by Victoria Aveyard published in February 2015.
Inside this book
I hate First Friday. It makes the village crowded, and now, in the heat of high summer, that’s the last thing anyone wants. From my place in the shade it isn’t so bad, but the stink of bodies, all sweating with the morning work, is enough to make milk curdle. The air shimmers with heat and humidity, and even the puddles from yesterday’s storm are hot, swirling with rainbow streaks of oil and grease.
The market deflates, with everyone closing up their stalls for the day. The merchants are distracted, careless, and it’s easy for me to take whatever I want from their wares. By the time I’m done, my pockets bulge with trinkets and I’ve got an apple for the road. Not bad for a few minutes’ works. As the throng of people moves, I let myself be taken away by the human current. My hands dart in and out, always in fleeting touches. Some paper bills from a man’s pocket, a bracelet from a woman’s wrist—nothing too big. Villagers are too busy shuffling along to notice a pickpocket in their midst.
Download The Red Queen PDF
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Inside this book
The high, stilt buildings for which the village is named (the Stilts, very original) rise all around us, ten feet above the muddy ground. In the spring the lower bank is underwater, but right now it’s August when dehydration and sun sickness stalks the village. Almost everyone looks forward to the first Friday of each month when work and school end early. But not me. No, I’d rather be in school, learning nothing in a classroom full of children.