Longtusk by Stephen Baxter

By Stephen Baxter

At the same time a tender calf, Longtusk understood the hardships the few final of his historical style had encountered whilst the glaciers retreated and grassy forests stole over the sizeable tundra the herds known as domestic. Worst of all used to be while the Fireheads got here -- merciless, two-legged beasts who kill for excitement. At a young age, Longtusk turned their prisoner, hobbled, abused, and stripped of his freedom. yet via toil and terror, Longtusk by no means forgot his extended family -- and he carried the most important, intimate wisdom of the Fireheads' methods, although at a negative cost. Now the time is speedily coming near near whilst he'll need to conflict with those that search to smash each dwelling hint of his proud breed. The darkish land ahead of him might be mined with fierce stumbling blocks and extraordinary demanding situations. And notwithstanding it might require the final word sacrifice -- and a grim disagreement with the misplaced, the main feared enemy of his gargantuan race -- Longtusk must never shun the twisted course in entrance of him...or what he's destined to develop into: the best hero of all of them.

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Sample text

Five days after he had first accepted the food, more Fireheads came to see him: Bedrock the leader, the Shaman Smokehat with his grotesque headpiece of smoking bone, and the cub, Crocus. Though Bedrock was cautious and kept hold of her paw, Crocus approached Longtusk. Her necklace of mammoth teeth gleamed in the watery spring sun. She reached past the ropes and ruffled the long hair that dangled from his trunk. He closed his eyes, recalling how Willow, the male Dreamer cub, used to do the same thing.

And that takes away from the Shaman's power. Having you around gives even little Lemming a higher status. " "No," said Longtusk bluntly. "All I'm saying is that if you give him an excuse, the Shaman will have you destroyed. Lemming is fond of you. But you're going to have to help him, to give him some sign that you'll cooperate, or else—" But now, as if to disprove Jaw's comforting growl, his own keeper approached: Spindle, thin, ugly and brutal. He lashed at Jaw with his stick, apparently punishing the mastodont for his minor theft of the food.

1 The Bone Pit All around Longtusk, sleeping mastodonts lay like immense boulders. In the summer they preferred to sleep on their backs, exposing their bare feet and bellies to the cool air. From time to time one of them, startled by a noise, would rise smoothly and silently to his feet, like some hairy ghost, before settling back. But Longtusk could not sleep—even after the months he had been kept here in the Firehead settlement. He could hear small Firehead footsteps as they pattered across the hard ground, their thin Firehead voices as they came and went on their strange, incomprehensible business.

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