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Somewhither

Somewhither by John C. Wright

The opening book of the Unwithering Realm. Illya is talking with his father, who just returned from a secret mission. He learns more than he expected.

About other worlds, the Disaster Cuneiform that his employer was trying to unravel, the importance of using swords rather than guns on occasion. It ends with his father sending him off to try to stop something happening at the museum where he works. He finds, there, the employer's daughter, Penny Dreadful, and an opening gate to another world.

The story unfolds from there. It involves the nightmarish Dark Tower, astrological predictions in detail, a horrible captivity, sword-fights, a friend and fellow Boy Scout of Illya, a number of people who come from worlds Illya did not expect, his own hidden history, the ability to walk on air, or escape astrological prediction, or hide from sight, a language that everyone can understand, the speakers of which can understand everyone, and more.

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