Regina's Song

Regina's Song

by David Eddings, Leigh Eddings

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“A story of murder and revenge . . . Outstandingly well paced and tightly plotted, the novel also stands out in its handling of various psychological themes.”—Booklist

Eerily attuned to one another, twins Regina and Renata are so identical that even their mother can’t tell them apart. Then tragedy strikes: a vicious attack leaves one twin dead and the other so traumatized that she turns totally inward, incapable of telling anyone what happened or even who she is. She remains lost to the world, until the day Mark, a family friend, comes to visit—and the young woman utters her first intelligible word.

As she recovers, still with no memory of the past, her nightmares grow steadily more frightful, followed by wild fits of hysteria and dark mood swings. Her strange outbursts seem to coincide with the grisly serial murders that have begun plaguing Seattle. Could she be the killer? Determined to dispel his suspicion, Mark stakes out her home. The unholy sight he witnesses one night will haunt his soul for the rest of his life. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345448996
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 623,898
Product dimensions: 6.68(w) x 11.04(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

David Eddings published his first novel, High Hunt, in 1973, before turning to the field of fantasy and The Belgariad, soon followed by The Malloreon. Born in Spokane, Washington, in 1931, and raised in the Puget Sound area north of Seattle, he received his bachelor of arts degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1954, and a master of arts degree from the University of Washington in 1961. He has served in the United States Army, has worked as a buyer for the Boeing Company, and has also been a grocery clerk and a college English teacher.

Leigh Eddings has collaborated with her husband for more than a dozen years.

David and Leigh Eddings live in the Southwest.

Read an Excerpt

“What’s happening here?” Les Greenleaf demanded, after Renata had been sedated into a peaceful slumber and we’d returned to Fallon’s office. “I thought you told us that she has total amnesia.”

“Evidently, it’s not quite as total as we thought,” Fallon replied, grinning broadly. “I think this might be a major breakthrough.”

“Why does she recognize Mark and not us?” Inga sounded offended.

“I haven’t got the faintest idea,” Fallon confessed, “but the fact that she recognizes somebody is very significant. It means that her past isn’t a total blank.”

“Then she’ll get her memory back?” Inga asked.

“Some of it, at least. It’s too early to tell how much.” Fallon looked at me then. “Would it be possible for you to stay here for the next few days, Mark?” he asked. “For some reason, you seem to be the key to Renata’s memory, so I’d like to have you available.”

“No problem, Doc,” I replied. “If the boss can drop me off at my place, I’ll grab a few things and come right back up the hill.”

“Good. I’ll want you right there when Renata wakes up. We’ve made a connection, and we don’t want to lose it.”

Les and Inga took me back to my place when we left the sanitarium. I tossed some clothes and stuff into a suitcase, grabbed some books, and drove my old Dodge back to Lake Stevens. I was as baffled as everybody else had been by Renata’s recognition of me, and it’d caught me completely off guard. There’d been a kind of desperation about the way she’d clung to me—almost like somebody hanging on to a life raft.

“We don’t necessarily have to mention this to her parents, Mark,” Fallon told me when I reported in, “but I think you’d better be right there in the room when Renata wakes up. Let’s not take any chances and lose this. All the rooms here have surveillance cameras, so I’ll be watching and listening. Don’t push her or say anything about why she’s here. Just be there.”

“I think I see where you’re going, Doc,” I told him.

The shot Dr. Fallon had given her kept Twink totally out of it until the next morning, and that gave me time to think my way through the situation. I was still working through my grief at losing my parents, but it was time to put my problems aside and concentrate, here and now, on Twink. If she needed me, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let her down.

I pushed the reclining chair over beside her bed, pulled the blanket up around my ears, and tapped out.

When I woke the next morning, Renata was still sound asleep, but she was holding my hand. Either she’d come about halfway out of her drug-induced slumber and found something to hold on to, or she’d just groped around for it in her sleep. Then again, it might have been me who’d been looking. It was sort of hard to say.

One of the orderlies brought our breakfast about seven, and I tugged on Twink’s hand a couple of times. “Hey, sack-rat,” I said, “rise and shine. It’s daylight in the swamp.”

She woke up smiling, for God’s sake! That’s sick! Nobody smiles that early in the morning!

“I need a hug,” she said.

“Not ’til you get up.”

“Grouch,” she accused me, her face still radiant.

That first day was a little strange. Twink watched me all the time, and she had a vapid look on her face every minute. I tried to read, but it’s awfully hard to concentrate when you can feel somebody watching you.

There was also a fair amount of spontaneous hugging.

I checked in with Dr. Fallon late that afternoon, and he suggested that I should probably let Twink know that I wasn’t going to be a permanent fixture. “Tell her that you’ll have to go back to work before too much longer. Let her know that you’ll visit her often, but you have to earn a living.”

“That’s not entirely true, Doc,” I told him. “I’ve got a few bucks stashed away.”

“You don’t need to mention that, Mark. We don’t want her to become totally dependent on your presence here. I think the best course might be to gradually wean her away. Stay here for a few more days, and then find some reason to run back to Everett for an afternoon. We’ll play it by ear and see how she reacts. Sooner or later, she’s going to have to learn how to stand alone.”

“You’re the expert, Doc. I won’t do anything to hurt her, though.”

“I think she might surprise you, Mark.”

There was another bout of hugging when I got back to Twink’s room. That seemed just a bit odd. There hadn’t been much physical contact between the twins and me in the past, but now it seemed that every time I turned around, she had her arms wrapped around me. “Renata,” I said finally, “you do know that we aren’t alone, don’t you?” I pointed at the surveillance camera.

“These aren’t those kinds of hugs, Markie.” She shrugged it off. “There are hugs and then there are hugs. We don’t do the other kinds of hugs, do we? And I wish you wouldn’t call me ‘Renata.’ I don’t like that name.”


“I’m Twinkie, remember? Only people who don’t know me call me ‘Renata.’ I knew that I was Twinkie the moment I saw you. It was such a relief to find out who I really am. All the ‘Ren-blah-blah’ stuff made me want to throw up.”

“We don’t get to pick our names, kid. That’s in the mommy and daddy department.”

“Tough cookies. I’m Twinkie, and I’m so cute and sweet that nobody can stand me.”

“Steady on, Twink,” I told her.

“Don’t you think I’m cute and sweet, Markie?” she said with obviously put-on childishness, fluttering her eyelashes at me.

I laughed. I couldn’t help myself.

“Gotcha!” she crowed with delight. Then she threw a sly glance at the surveillance camera. “And I got you too, didn’t I, Dockie-poo?” she said, obviously addressing Dr. Fallon, who was almost certainly watching.

“Dockie-poo?” I asked mildly.

“All of us cute and sweet nutcases make up pet names for the people and things around us. I have long conversations with Moppie and Broomie all the time. They aren’t too interesting, but a girl needs somebody to talk to, doesn’t she?”

“I think your load’s shifting, Twink.”

“I know. That’s why I’m in the nuthouse. This is the walnut ward. They keep the filberts and pecans in the other wing. We aren’t supposed to talk with them, because their shells are awfully brittle, and they crack up if you look at them too hard. I was kind of brittle when I first got here, but now that I know who I really am, everything’s all right again.”

She was sharp; she was clever; and she could be absolutely adorable when she wanted to be. I definitely hoped that Doc Fallon was watching. I was certain that her distaste for her name was very significant. Now she had “Twinkie” to hold on to, so she could push “Renata”—and “Regina”—into the background. Maybe “Twinkie” was going to be her passport back to the world of people who call themselves “normal.” ••• I stayed for a couple more days, and then I used the “gotta go to work” ploy Fallon had suggested to ease my way out—well, sort of. I didn’t really stay away very much. As soon as I got off work at the door factory, I’d bag it on up to Lake Stevens to spend the evening with Twink.

Once she’d made the name-change and put “Renata” on the back burner, Twink’s recovery to at least partial sanity seemed to surprise even Dr. Fallon. Evidently, her switchover to “Twink” was something on the order of an escape hatch. She left “Regina” behind, along with “Renata,” and she seemed to grow more stable with each passing day.

Dr. Fallon decided that she was doing well enough that it’d probably be all right if she took a short furlough for Christmas.

It was a subdued sort of holiday—1995 hadn’t been a very good year for any of us. Twink’s aunt Mary, her dad’s sister, was about the only bright spot during the whole long holiday weekend, which might seem a bit strange, in view of the fact that Mary was a Seattle police officer. But she’d always been fond of the twins, and now she refused to treat Twink as if she were damaged merchandise—the way Les and Inga did. She smoothly stepped over the blank spots in Twink’s memory and more or less ignored her niece’s status as a mental patient on furlough. That seemed to help Twink, and the two of them grew very close during that long weekend. That in turn helped me raise a subject that had worried me more than a little.

It was on Christmas Day that I braced myself and finally broke the news to Twink that our schedule was about to change. “I’ll still be living at home, Twink,” I reassured her, “but I’ll be going to classes at the university instead of working at the door factory. I’ll have to study quite a bit, though, so my visits might be a little shorter.”

“I’ll be fine, Markie,” she said. Then she gave me one of those wide-eyed, vapid looks. “Have you heard the news? Some terribly clever fellow named Bell came up with the niftiest idea you ever heard of. He calls it the telephone. Isn’t that neat? You can visit me without even driving up the hill to the bughouse.”

Mary suddenly exploded with laughter.

“All right, Twink.” I felt a little foolish. “Would it bother you if I gave you a phone call instead of coming up there?”

“As long as I know that you care, I’ll be fine. I’m a tough little cookie—or hadn’t you noticed?”

“Maybe you two should clear that with Dr. Fallon,” Inga suggested, sounding worried.

“I’ll be fine, Inga,” Renata assured her. For some reason, Twink had trouble with “Mom” and “Dad,” so she called her parents by their names instead. I decided to have a talk with Fallon about that.

After the holidays, I returned to the university and started taking seminars, beginning with Graduate English Studies. That’s when I discovered just how far down into the bowels of the earth the main library building extended. I think there was more of it underground than above the surface. Graduate English Studies concentrated on “how to find stuff in the Lye-berry.” That deliberate mispronunciation used to make Dr. Conrad crazy, so I’d drop it on him every now and then just for laughs.

I was still commuting to Everett, even though the two hours of driving back and forth cut into my study time quite a bit. I had a long talk with Twink, and we sort of worked out a schedule. I’d visit her on weekends, but our weekday conversations were held on the phone. Dr. Fallon wasn’t too happy about that, but headshrinkers sometimes lose contact with the real world—occupational hazard, I suppose.

Renata’s amnesia remained more or less total—except for occasional flashes that didn’t really make much sense to her. Her furloughs from the hospital grew more frequent and lasted for longer periods of time. Dr. Fallon didn’t come right out and say it, but it seemed to me that he’d finally concluded that Twinkie would never regain her memory.

Inga Greenleaf, with characteristic German efficiency, went through Castle Greenleaf and removed everything even remotely connected to Regina. •••

When the fall quarter of 1996 rolled around, Dr. Conrad decided that it was time for me to get my feet wet on the front side of the classroom, so he bullied me into applying for a graduate teaching assistantship, the academic equivalent of slavery. We didn’t pick cotton; we taught fresh- man English instead. It was called Expository Writing, and it definitely exposed the nearly universal incompetence of college freshmen. I soon reached the point where I was absolutely certain that if I saw, “. . . in my opinion, I think that . . .” one more time, I’d be joining Twinkie in the bughouse.

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Regina's Song 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's a great story, part mystery, part thriller. The writing is excellent and the characters really cool. I reccomend this book for every real Eddings fan.
puckrobin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blah. Set in the early part of the newest century, it reads and sounds like the characters are speaking in the early 1970s. If you look at Eddings' bio info, the main character shares a lot of life experience with Eddings. Far too much extraneous detail - menus of dinners where nothing much is said are related in detail - and when there is action, it's over so fast, it feels like you've missed something. Further, the foreshadowing was woefully heavy handed, making most of the plot "twists", predictable; the biggest "twist" was spoiled in the summary on the back of the book. I should have just read the back - it would have been a time saver and I would have gotten about the same overall experience.
Konran on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So much glorious potential... wasted. A good setup, building toward a climax that comes out of left field and is incredibly cheesy. If I'd written this I would have taken it in a far darker direction. Great concept, blah execution in both plot and characters.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yikes. This book moves so slowly, it takes about 200 or so pages to get into anything remotely thrilling or disturbing. I did enjoy all the characters and the plot line was interesting, but SO slow...yawn.
Irisheyz77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books that I've ever read. Don't waste your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My adoption moms name is Regina. -James Austin Charming
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll be honest and say that the first time I read this, I was disappointed. I adore Eddings and deeply regret not meeting him when he was living. This book threw me, as it is not in the style I've come to expect in his (and his wife's) writing, but upon rereading the book, I realize it stands on its own. Yes, some parts are not as well fleshed as they could be, but this is true of many books. I enjoyed his charecters, especially the twin twist, and while the ending flowed the way I expected, the slight twist at the very end really shook me initially, as I was blind-sided by it. This book is similiar to High Hunt and The Losers, so if you like this, I highly recommend the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book all the way up until the end. I felt the ending wasn't as developed as it could have been and I was left not fully satisfied with the story. The topic is great and this book could have been phenomenal BUT there was something lacking. Although I can't quite put my finger on what... characters for one, the ending second. I think from two authors who don't mind writing over 1000 pages for one fantasy novel, they could have done a better job with it. The subject itself is fascinating and if nothing else, at the end, you'll feel like you need to do more research on identical twins and the way they function.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It is really very good! Original and new! But the writing is as good as ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first became a fan of the Eddings duo when I read the Belgariad series and fell in love. I have read other works by them and have enjoyed them. So I went into this book with high hopes. Boy was I disappointed. This book reads as if it was a first novel by a mediocre writier. The dialogue was unbelievable.....not to mention some of the events that happen to the plot. I found it very difficult to read the entire book and seriously thought about putting it down several times. If you are a fan of Eddings then run away from this book as fast as you can! This is a horrible book which drags on to an even more horrible ending! If this is the first book of their's that you have read.....please don't think their other novels are like it. Their other books are so much better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It isn't high literature, but it is a very good read. I actually liked this more than the Belgariad. It had a little more edge to it. They do tend to just totally skip any foreshadowing and just hand you major plot points, but the characters are well written and pleasantly quirky. It is a decent mystery and I would love to see these characters again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the work that David Eddings has produced and this by far was the worst story i have read. The dialogue gets to the point that it is annoying, the story feels more like a list of things ie. I went to the bookshelf, i picked up the book, i walked to the desk etc. Its horribly boring and a dissappointment to people who loved Eddings' style of writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
first of all this book is nothing like the eddings' previous works, save perhaps for high hunt. while it does leave some unanswered questions, so does every other book ever written. if you enjoy the style of the belgariad-malloreon and elenium-tamuli as opposed to only liking the story, you should find this an enjoyable read. the story, while not fully developed, is good, but, as with all eddings books, what makes this one a keeper are the entertainingly idiosyncratic characters and storytelling. all in all, while it doesn't live up to the belgariad-malloreon, this book is still very much worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first bought this book because i loved the Eddings' fantasy work; I wasn't even sure I would ever get around to reading it but Im really glad I ran out of reading material over spring break. I honestly couldn't put the book down, but i just found that I was in the minority on that one. Sure, I think they could have developed the woman/wolf song more, elaborated the characters and made the dialouge a little more believable, but I read for entertainment only. I don't like to spend all my free time dissecting books like I have to do every other day in Honors English, but I guess I'm the only one anymore who doesn't have to go over the book with a fine-toothed comb for everything that should've been better. Read the book when you have an open mind, if only for an afternoon or two of enjoyment.