Cover image for The book of fours : a historie of the four slayers, this being their first adventure
The book of fours : a historie of the four slayers, this being their first adventure
Holder, Nancy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
336 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



* The third Buffy adult hardcover filled in a missing link: the Slayer who died to make Buffy the Chosen One When an old classmate of Buffy's in LA is killed, and Willow is severely injured in a car accident, both in the space of one week, the Slayer must yet again face the vulnerabilities of her mortal friends. At the same time, from a place of nightmares - which Buffy and Faith share - a terrible evil invades Sunnydale, setting off a quartet of disasters. Earth, air, fire and water - each represented in the dreams by a primitive figure carrying a box moulded from skin and bone. Faith thinks she recognises the box. Research leads Giles to the Watchers' Diaries, where he learns that the last Slayer to encounter a similar box was one named India Cohen... Buffy's immediate predecessor. Buffy, who has strangely never considered the Slayer whose death activated her own term, is eager to contact India's Watcher, Kit Bothwell. Kit, in turn, is excited at the prospect of working with two simultaneous Slayers. Over the years, he has honed his sorcery skills, and he thinks he can bring Buffy in communication with India, among others. And this begins a journey through history that forces Buf

Author Notes

Nancy Holder is the coauthor with Chistopher Golden of the original Watcher's Guide and several Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, as well as numerous Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Salem's Tails books.

(Publisher Provided) Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany. Eventually she returned to California and graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communications. Soon after, she began to write; her first sale was a young adult romance novel titled Teach Me to Love. She is a four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award and has received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The ghosts of Slayers past come to Sunnydale in this latest novel based on the hit TV show and set during the show's third season. Certain elements are out of whack in Sunnydale; hurricanes, flash floods, and fires plague the town. The Slayers, Buffy and Faith, as well as their friends, realize something supernatural is behind the natural disasters when mysterious axe-wielding figures appear amid the chaos. The spirits have been summoned by a powerful sorceress to kill the Slayers and feed their essence to the Gatherer, a being made up of pure evil. If the Gatherer manages to kill and feed on both Slayers, it will rise from the box in which it is imprisoned, leading to eternal chaos. In order to defeat the Gatherer, Buffy and Faith must call upon the ghosts of Kendra and India, two slain Slayers who encountered the Gatherer in their lifetimes. Full of the action and wit characteristic of the popular television series, The Book of Fours is sure to be a crowd pleaser. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

Strictly for fans of the immensely popular TV series, this third hardcover spinoff novel from Stoker Award-winner Holder (Dead in the Water and numerous mass market Buffy books) remains faithful to formula. Here the four teenage heroines and dedicated "Slayers" indulge in "girl-talk" about mall-shopping, clothing, cosmetics, high school and boys when they aren't fighting vampires, trolls, demons and even an attractive ancient female villain, whom they attack with kung fu kicks, uppercuts, right crosses and straight faces at all times. Willow, Buffy's best friend, gets killed in an auto accident, but since she's vital to the show, it's no surprise when Willow returns. Buffy's "cured" vampire boyfriend, Angel, adds some male interest. The book has some, albeit negligibly little, humor, primarily implicit in the irony of a small, mythically American town, Sunnydale, Calif., being overrun by a throng of scenery-wrecking monsters. Too often this detracts from the eponymous star, as Buffy and her Slayers engage in endless, brainless action. The book should carry a warning label that it is unsuitable for anyone older than 16 to read unless accompanied by a child. Still, it is nice to know the world is safe from Evil. (Apr. 3) Forecast: The release of this tie-in novel is particularly timely, as a bidding war (and attendant media coverage) is brewing over the rights to this hit series, which Warner Brothers may or may not renew. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One The Arabian Desert, the Past There are sacred places in the body of the parched desert, which are bountiful gifts from the One Lord, which is Allah, May He Be Praised for His Unending Mercy and Generosity. When a Bedouin is wandering the sands of the ages, and the sky and the earth are parched and dry; and his soul and his body cry out for sanctuary, Allah provides. He gives His faithful nomad a glimpse of the Paradise that is to come, a miniature window, on Earth. These tantalizing views are the famed oases, where rounded dunes of velvety sand and the gentle slopes between them promise delights. Sensual and inviting as a houri, luxuriant reeds fan above fresh, sweet water. Succulent fruit dangles from swaying, lacy palms. Cooling shade caresses sunburnt skin. There are other places much like this also, but they have nothing to do with Divine Mercy. They are lies. And why they exist, no man knows, save that it is said that the evil djinn feed off men's despair. These lies are the legendary mirages. Where no water ripples, thirsty people on camelback stare at verdant pools. Where no figs hang, miserable nomads trudge hopefully, stretching their arms to pluck sweet fruit. The skeletons of these deceived travelers are discovered years later, reaching for what was never there. In an oasis in the heart of the Sinai, a mirage was born, so long ago it was before Slayers walked the world. Good and evil had just begun their endless feuding, and the finger of destiny had not touched a single hero, nor crushed an unlucky martyr. At least, so it was in the Arabias. The mirage began as a thickness at the bottom of the oasis pool, and where and what it was before then, no one has ever known. The thickness had no function, but it had a quality: it was pure and unknowing evil. It existed for no other reason than to express its nature. A dark shard of badness, it remained that way for eons. The sands shifted around the oasis, and its evilness endured. Its essence never altered for what men call centuries. Millennia. Then one day, the tiniest of sand fleas bobbled beside the water's edge. What possessed the nimble creature to venture too close, and fall in? And how did the thickness know it was there, and draw it down, down into the depths, and consume it? The flea's life energy transformed the thickness into something slightly more than it had been before. Previously unknowing and unaware, now it was dimly conscious. At a very primitive level, deep within its matter, bloomed the vaguest, most unformed sense that it was one thing, and everything else was not whatever it was. That disturbed it. There should be nothing more than itself. It had always been the center of its universe, though it did not really understand its own assumption, and it should remain so. Centuries passed. The first Slayer walked. Evil fought back. Then a brown sparrow happened by the water. How it got there, no one could say. The Hand of God decreed that it should be, and it was not for any lesser being, angel or person, to know. But when the bird pecked at the sparkling wet diamonds reflected in the surface of the water, the thickness lurking below pulled at the creature, and yanked it in, and sucked it under, and devoured it. The sense of "self" and "that not yet consumed" grew. Energy galvanized its impulses: it must have more. As endless time unfolded, the thickness grew into a pasty glob, fuller now, like the fanned head of a cobra. And then it devoured a cobra, and it knew itself one bit more. It knew itself as a consumer of energy, which made it increase, multiply, thrive. It experienced the sensation of life, and of power. As is the natural order imposed upon this world by Allah the Most Wise, the thickness wanted still more. It waited to receive more, and the experience of wanting something that was not itself bestowed upon it more self-awareness. It began to understand lack, and that allowed it to make comparisons based on having and not having. Ambition was the perfect breeding ground for covetousness, which grew into frustration, which became anger. Anger unanswered: seething rage. And rage allowed it to devise schemes to get what it wanted. Goats came next, then an antelope, then a camel. Then one desert night, a foreign man rode there to meet a woman he could not, should not have. He had come from far away, and he had the right to travel. She, a veiled concubine of a ruthless and powerful pasha, did not. If her absence from the harem was discovered, she would be boiled in oil. If her infidelity was so much as suspected, even worse would befall her. Of the man, it was better left unsaid what would happen to him. Beneath the scimitar of the moon, their lives hung by a thread. But their love was stronger than their fear, and they embraced. Lips, arms, sighs; perfumed hair, oils, and scents; languor and ecstasy. Heartbeats. And then hoofbeats shook the desert floor. Fearfully, she looked up, and strained her gaze across the starry night. The pasha's men! She and he were lost! At her lover's urging, she plunged into the water of the oasis. With the splendid battle-axe at his belt, he cut her a reed to breathe with underwater. She put it to her lips and sank beneath the surface. What he never knew, as he held the axe in his hand and stood firm for the fight, was that the thing in the water curled around one slender ankle, and then the other. Inexorably, it pulled her down, swallowing her up as she struggled, screaming beneath the water, unable to be heard. The curved tips of her shoes; the jingling coin bracelets around her ankles. Her gossamer pantaloons, her sash, her blouse. Her veil. Her circlet. Like the burp of a fat, happy merchant after a feast, the thing disgorged her skull. It had been picked clean. It bobbed to the surface and floated for a second, empty eye sockets posed as if watching the massacre of the woman's lover. Within seconds, the man was hacked to pieces. His axe landed at the water's edge. Evil, which had spread into the water from the killing of a human being, licked the blade, and it was tainted for all time. But the pasha's guardsman, who plucked up the axe and hid it in the folds of his clothes, did not know that. He had three more such axes made, brothers to the weapon he had plundered from the dead man -- one for each of his sons. Singly, they were exquisite; as a quartet, their splendor was unmatched. Proud and acquisitive, rather than gift his male children as he had planned, he kept the four axes together in a beautiful wooden box in his quarters in the city. And how the evil transferred from one piece of metal to the others, no one knows. That is not the point. The point is, that it happened. Copyright © 2001 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Excerpted from The Book of Fours by Nancy Holder All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.