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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

I’m late posting today because I was at an amazing literary conference held by the Inland Northwest chapter of SCBWI. But I did see this amazing dragon image in the portfolio display. This dragon was one of several illuminated beasts in a series. Thanks so much to the artist, Hannah Charlton, for allowing me to share it here.

Hannah_Charlton_Dragon

“Dragon,” by Hannah Charlton, 2017, used with permission.

The gold ink Hannah used is really spectacular and gives her work a special appeal.

 


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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I don’t often reblog, but Nicola Rossi posted this on her excellent Thoughts on Fantasy. I can’t say it better than she did, so check out her recommended dragon books! Tough Travels: Dragons


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

 

 

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I spotted this brass platter leaning against the wall at a friend’s house. Check out the dragons in the border.

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Embossed platter at a friend’s house.

They look a lot like lindworms, with only fore paws and the long tail but no hind legs. However, my sources disagree whether a true lindworm would have wings.


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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This is a passage from my first published novel, The Magister’s Mask, released by Dragon Moon Press in 2004. It’s the tale of a young sorceress, Shenza, who has been trained to use her magic in solving crimes. Among the unique creations in this novel is a sea serpent, Taisaris, which is sent by vengeful nature spirits to punish some foolish humans.

The Magister’s Mask is currently available in trade paperback or e-book. Enjoy!


Amid a geyser of spray, something huge broke the surface of the sea just beyond the breakwater. Thin shrieks came from the town behind them.

Here was another legend become real. It was shaped like an eel, narrow and long, with a many-fanged maw topping a powerful corded neck. Elegant, spiny fins threw plumes of spray in a hundred directions. Its hide was of a color with the sea itself, a green so deep it looked black in the gloom. When lightning flashed again, phosphorescent stripes blazed along its sides.

“That’s a…” Juss choked.

“Taisaris,” she (Shenza) finished for him.

It was said the Eleshouri created the sea serpents to control the currents and tides. But their monstrous forms housed a temper that could swallow up entire islands, and so they were banished to the utmost depths. Only sometimes they crept out to overturn ships and drag the hapless sailors below. Or they might be summoned by their masters, to punish some transgression.

The beast roared at the height of its arc, a bellow like the howl of cyclonic winds. Shenza stepped back and bumped into Juss. He steadied her, but did not speak.

Taisaris turned in the air with lumbering slowness. then collapsed back into the sea. Its fall raised a wall of spray that obscured the horizon. And then, what she had feared came to pass: over the breakwater, a long hump of water rolled swiftly toward Chalsett-port.

Shenza needed no more urging from Juss. She snatched up her travel case and they ran toward the safety of the terrace. Under their feet the boards of the pier trembled with vibrations that grew ever stronger and closer.

In front of them, dark-skinned backs of seamen and peace officers together dashed up the stairs. For Shenza and Juss there was no time left. The crack of splintering wood mingled with a greedy roar as the wave struck the lowest level of the town. Juss threw his arm around Shenza’s shoulders, flattening her against the vertical face of the tier above. A hard wash of cold bring pressed them against the stonework with bruising force. It came to her shoulders, nearly lifting her from her feet. A moment later the flow reversed. She could feel the suction dragging at them. For a terrifying moment her sandals slipped, but Juss’ strong arms helped her keep her footing. Then the pressure lifted and the wave fell back with a cheated sloosh. Sea-foam hissed malevolently as the waters drained back over the edge of the quay.


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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In 2014, I retold the legend of Zahhak, a dragonlike character from Persian and Zoroastrian mythology. Recently a comment pointed out that I had called Zahhak an “Arabian dragon” when in fact the myth is Iranian. This is true, and I apologize for assigning a generic nationality. However, the legend is complicated, as stories often are.

According to this article, the legend of Zahhak does come from Iran but the character of Zahhak is described in the legend as an Arab. It seems that Arabs had conquered Iran in the 7th Century. When it came time for storytellers to identify Zahhak’s origins, they were not able to resist the temptation of linking him to the conquerors.

Here is my original post, edited properly.


Zahhak

 

Long ago in Persia, a king named Merdas had only one son. Prince Zahhak was clever and handsome, but his character was weak. He found it easier to go along with what the courtiers and advisers said than to think for himself. This was observed by Ahriman, an evil spirit rather like Satan of Jewish and Biblical tradition. Like Satan, Ahriman aspired to cover the earth with his malevolent rule, and Zahhak seemed like a perfect tool toward this goal.

Ahriman wormed his way into King Merdas’s court and became close to Prince Zahhak. Over time, he persuaded Zahhak to murder his father and assume the throne. The means was to dig a deep pit in a place where the king often walked, and conceal it with brush. This was done; the king fell into the pit and was killed, leaving his son a bloody throne.

Perhaps the new king repented at this, for his former friend was banished from the court. But this was no impediment to Ahriman. He changed his form and returned in the guise of a chef whose food was so wonderful that after some weeks King Zahhak promised him any reward he wanted. The “humble” chef asked to kiss the king on both shoulders. This was agreed. But when the chef had kissed the king’s shoulders, he suddenly disappeared.

In that same moment, two black serpents grew from the king’s shoulders. The horrified king commanded that they be cut off, but as soon as that happened, two more dragon heads grew. Days passed by, and no one could find a way to remove the dragons. In fact, the hungry beasts bit and snapped at everyone, so that no one dared approach.

Except for Ahriman, who now wore the shape of a wise physician. Ahriman told King Zahhak that the dragons couldn’t be removed, but they could be temporarily sated. The only food they would accept? Human brains.

…Oh, didn’t I mention this is a zombie dragon story? Check back next time for the next chapter.


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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Over the summer, I’ve been working as director of programming for SpoCon, my local science fiction convention. I’m going a little nuts, frankly. But it has given rise to a few fun thoughts. If dragons had a convention, what would their programming look like?

Humans: Friends or Food? Older and wiser dragons share their advice on whether to play nicely or take what you want.

The Perfect Hoard: A great hoard needs more than mountains of gold coin. Maybe you’ve thought of adding some gems or a bit of gold-plated armor. Experts discuss how to give your hoard personality and flair.

Fang and Claw vs. Flame Breath: Warrior dragons debate the best way to slay those pesky knights.

Lair Security: Are you troubled by sneak thieves and traveling salesmen? Learn a few new tricks to keep intruders out of your private space.

Human Arms and Armor: Information on the most common equipment used by knights and adventurers, with tips on how to overcome them.


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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Dragons are famous for having vast hoards of treasure, but sometimes I wonder why. If knights are always trying to kill you and take your treasure, why would you even bother with that? Surely a dragon could have a quieter, more secure life without a hoard.

Based on legends and contemporary fiction, here are some reasons that dragons keep hoards.

  1. Pure greed. Some dragons, such as Fafnir, are created in a contest to claim an accursed treasure.
  2. Pride. Dragons often seem to relish the high status of owning a huge treasure. Smaug, in The Hobbit, would represent these dragons.
  3. Nutrition. In some books, dragon parents collect coins and other metal pieces, and feed them to their young. The minerals help baby dragons grow their near-invulnerable scales. E. E. Knight’s Age of Fire series is a good example.
  4. Preservation. Dragons who gather tomes and manuscripts might be dedicated to saving knowledge of the ancient past. They may also find that having a hobby helps them they stay alert and active over the decades.
  5. Obsession. In a few books, such as Jessica Day George’s Dragon Slippers, all dragons are born with an irresistible urge to collect. They don’t all gather the same things, though. In George’s book, the main dragon character has an enormous collection of shoes.
  6. Remembrance. A long-lived dragon might save mementos from lost civilizations or friends in their past. More aggressive dragons could keep trophies from their victories against various enemies.
  7. Hunting Lure. In my short story, Hoard, a dragon named Carnisha keeps a hoard in order to attract looters. She then feeds them to her babies.

I’m sure there are more reasons. Why do you think dragons gather hoards?


A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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