Duel 3 – Ezra & Eudora

Duel 3 – Ezra & Eudora

Ezra and Eudora had watched Harland duel from the position on the wall and were surprised when he surrendered to Davis. “He must see something in Davis, as he would never give up a challenge so easy.” Ezra said with a smile.

“Very unlike him.” Eudora responded watching Davis preparing for the next fight.

Eudora and Ezra drew there swords and walked along the top of the ruins of the old keep to confront Davis. Stepping down off the ruins, Ezra landed in front of Davis and Eudora Landed behind him.

“Split your sword Davis, you will need both of them for this fight.” Ezra said.

“You will be fighting the two of us at the same time.” Eudora said.

Davis studied the two of them for a few minutes before splitting his sword. “If you insist, My Lord and Lady.”

With a deft flick, the two half’s of his sword separated and Davis spun the blades in his hands. Taking a few deep breaths to still his rapidly beating heart, Davis stood with both sword pointed at both of the new combatants, ready to counter which ever struck first.

Ezra and Eudora pushed there cloaks off there right shoulders to give them more freedom of movement. There swords were identical, short, but with a distinct shape completely different to the normal blade he had seen so far. Both swords were slender with a slightly curved single edged blade and had finely engraves spiral decoration that ran down the sides of the blades, around the hand guards and continued along the handles to join up at the tip of an equally decorative pommel. Davis stood between the identical twins watching for the slightest movement that would give away their first attack. As he looked back and forward between the two, waiting for the attack, he couldn’t help the feeling of nervousness growing in the pit of his stomach. The stillness of the twins was starting to annoy him and he wised that one of them would move and get the duel under way. The waiting finally got to him and as he was about to make the first move, Eudora smiled and the twins both attacked at the same time in a blur of blades as Davis parried and struck with everything he could summon. The two of them worked perfectly together keeping Davis between them. Davis tried several times to get them both on one side, but every time they countered his movements. In a move that put them off balance, Davis spun and brought both swords into a parallel position, an arms length apart. The swing caused Ezra to step away, but Eudora took the full impact of both swords, pushing her back towards the wall. Davis put both half’s of his swords together and in a figure of eight move continued to swing at her forcing her further and further back against the wall. Her back hit the wall and she ducked and spun around and under Davis’s blade coming up behind him.

Davis’s sword clanged against the stone wall just as Eudora ducked sending sparks and stone chipping fling and he smiled, now that they were both together, he split his swords a second time and went on the attack. With both of them in front of him, Davis did not have to concentration was no longer devided on protecting his back and his front. Wind rose and blasted through the ruins carrying small stones and dust into a cloud and pushed the reming fog away from the ruins. Eudora was struggling to keep her cloak behind her and with Eudora momentarily distracted Davis swung his left sword up at Ezra causing him to use his own sword to parry the blow. Releasing her cloak in frustration, Eudora lunged in and Davis side stepped, Eudora’s momentum carried her past Davis and caused her to loose balance and fall forward. As she regained her balance, Davis swept behind her and bought one of his swords up under her chin.

“Do you yield, My Lady?” Davis asked using the other sword to keep Ezra away.

“I yield.” She squeaked before carefully sliding her sword back into her scabbard. Davis release her and she moved over to a low wall to watch the one on one duel that now existed between Davis and Ezra.

“May I borrow your sword, dear sister?” Ezra called out, releasing the clasp holding his own cloak and letting it fall from around his neck and off his shoulders. Eudora pulled her sword back out and threw at a Ezra who expertly caught it by the hilt. “Thank you sister.” He said sweeping the sword down and taking a bow. With a few exaggerated swings of both swords, and a few spins he turned back to Davis With the left sword held at neck height and the right sword held waist height and slightly forward and taking a sideways stance. “You thought you were the only duel sword user here?”

“Without knowing who my opponents are, I would never make such a presumption.” Davis said Assuming his own defensive pose.

For a few minutes both stood there watching each other, looking for the slightest sign of a gap in their defence that would allow them there next move. Davis nearly missed it, but there was a slight movement of Ezra’s foot before he launched into an attack that looked like he was flying. Ezra was moving faster then his eyes could follow and Davis was forced on the defence. The ruins rang with the clang and scrape of their swords crashing together and Davis struggled to find any opening to allow him to attack. Ezra’s attacks were hitting his swords in a pattern that he could follow and closing his eye’s, Davis could picture that pattern and defend without even looking. On and on, Davis blocked the strikes and then he heard the pause. After sixteen blows, there was a slight pause before it started again. He would have to be quick to make use of this, but turning one sword in a reverse and using his arm to support the sword, he used it to defend himself, blocking every single blow. He counted down the strikes and on the last blow, pulled the free sword back and slid it across the first. Rotating the defensive sword back to the fighting grip, and he twisted his swords and caught both of Ezra’s. In a feint, Davis pushed with all is might on the swords and adjusted his feet. Ezra pushed pack and Davis twisted his body. Just like Eudora, the move caught Ezra of balance allowing Ezra’s momentum to knock him of ballance.. Davis slid both his swords down Ezra’s blade towards the hand guards. His own swords hand guard snagged in the hand guard of one of Ezra’s, and with a twist, his pulled one of them out of Ezra’s hand, sending it flying across the ground. Ezra’s quickly recovered swinging his other sword in mid fall. He struck Davis’s swords as he fell and rolled across the ground. Ezra jumped back to his feet and charged at Davis. With only one sword the attacks were easer to to following and deflect. Davis was getting tired of Ezra and needed to finish this quick. Ezra’s face was bright red but not from exhaustion and Davis realised that it was because like all lords he didn’t want to loose, but was starting to make mistakes. Taking a gamble, he side stepped to see if his previous tricks would work but Ezra defended against them. Ezra was staring to slow in his attack and Davis felt it was time to end this. Using a scissors movement to pause Ezra’s attacks, he forced Ezra to lunge at him. Davis allowed Ezra’s blade to slide close to his face and he pushed up and twisted his head. Davis released one of his swords and grabbed Ezra’s hand guard, and twisted. He felt a crack come from Ezra’s hand and the sword came loose. Davis pulled the sword free and with a flick reversed the sword and pointed it and Ezra’s throat.

“Do you yield, my lord?” he asked.

Ezra held his wrist and nodded. “Yes, I yield.” he said in a defeated voice.

Davis pulled Ezra’s sword away and wiped it on his own jacket sleeve. “Let me put this away for you.” He said and carefully slid the sword into Ezra’s own scabbard.

Eudora came over with Ezra’s cloak folded in her arms and her own sword in her Scabbard. “Well done Davis, you fought well. One piece of advice I will give you. Do not underestimate Gregorio Leverstak. He has always lived as a scout and will not hesitate to use every dirty trick in the book.”

“Thank you, My Lady.” Davis said with a bow and watched them leave.

Published in: on April 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Duel Two – Harland O’Connel

Duel Two – Harland O’Connel

“Have you finished looking around yet or have you forgotten that you still have fifteen more duels to go.” Davis’s next opponent called out from somewhere in the still fog surrounded ruins of Corfe Castle. The closeness of it muffled sound and made it difficult to judge from which direction the voice had emanated from. Davis turned back to the arch watching the wisp craw around the arch like a living creature. A robed figure seamed to materialise in the archway and Davis‘s the next combatant, a man by his voice, leaned against one of the supporting walls of the arch’s frame. As he approached, the person turned and walked into the ruins. Stopping just before passing under, leaning against one side, Davis poked the edge of his sword through and used it’s reflective surface as a mirror. Turning the blade about, he looked over as much of the ruins that were not obscured by the mist. Davis moved to the other side of the arch and again used the sword to look around. Unable to spot anyone, Davis raised his sword and walked deeper into the ruins.

Davis’s opponent sat on a window watching as Davis eased his way through the remains of the castle. On the wall above him sat two more of the sixteen lords. The two were never apart and being twins, always fought together side by side.

“Do you think he will be the same as his brother, Harland?” the female of the twins asked.

“I don’t know Eudora, I do not think he knew anything about his brother until Zylphia, mentioned it.”

“Zylphia!” Eudora responded surprised.

“He does not know about his brother being a traitor?” Ezra, Eudora’s brother asked.

“No, he was quite surprised when she mentioned it.” Harland said picking up a stone and throwing it in the ruins off to the far side of Davis.

Harland, what are you doing taking the second duel, You should be in the ninth place duel.” Eudora asked.

“I requested the second slot as I have some things to attend to. Also, I did not want to wait for you first eight to wear him down.” Harland said with a smile. He watched Davis jump and look around. Standing up, Harland balanced on the edge of the stone window surround, “I think I better go and see how good he really is.” Harland bowed to Ezra and Eudora, then stepped off the window, walked along a stone wall that had once been part of the castles inner Bailey, and jumped down behind Davis, sword already raised to block Davis’s startled strike.

Acting on instinct, Davis swung his sword to block his attackers swing and try to get under his opponents defences but unlike the Zylphai, this one seamed to predict his attacks and block the swing aimed for his neck. Davis took a step back to realise a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. and noticed that his opponent was standing sideways like a fencer. Davis place his knife back in its sheath, stretched and rolled his shoulders and bowed.

“My Lord, Harland O’Connel.” Davis said and watched as the one in front of him bowed in return. Sweeping his cloak behind him and off the shoulder of his sword arm.

“Well that was a quick duel you had against Zylphia, she is not used to loosing so fast, she will not let that one go so easy.” Harland said, smiling from the confused look on Davis’s face. Harland took a step towards Davis and pointed his sword tip at Davis Unlike Davis’s own weapon, Harland’s claymore had a gold and jewel covered basket that was wide enough to cover both hands on the hilt. Davis tapped the tip of his sword against his Harland‘s Claymore, and retreated a step back while keeping his eyes on Harland, studying his body movements for any clue on what his first move could be. Harland drew his right foot of to one side and lowered his stance ready for an attack, making a guess on what that first swing could be, Davis leapt into an attack swinging his sword upwards from a low guard. in an attempt that would push Harland’s sword out of the way allowing him to get close with his knife. As planed, he did push the sword out of the way, but is opponent’s elbow was up, and Davis’s sword traveled over Harland’s and his momentum carried him forward and he hit the elbow, he head flew back and his legs buckled under him and was sent falling to the ground backwards, the impact of the rubble covered ground knocking all the wind out of him and sending his sword clattering across the stones.

Harland stood there for a moment looking down at the dazed Davis. “Get up Davis, have  you learn nothing in all the years of study?”

Davis rubbed his chin, picked up his sword a stood up. “I fell for your cheep trick, My Lord.”

“I do hope that you expecting more of my cheep tricks?” Harland said holding out a hand and helping him back to his feet. “Shall we start this properly now?”

Stretching his shoulders watching as Harland resumed his stance, Davis gave a quick swing of his sword with an over exaggerated flourish and launched into an rapid attack. Starting with his blade on his right shoulder, Davis swung down to the left and brought his sword around in a circle that forced his opponent to turn spin around. Harland turned his back to Davis, his sword scraping the ground and he swung his sword up to the right and caught Davis’s sword with an impact that caused both swords to ring out across the ruins. For a moment, they stood there pushing each other sword backwards and forwards nether giving an inch of ground. Harland noticed that Davis still had his knife out and was using it to push down on his blade. Adjusting his position, Harland twisted his sword and it slide up into the knife. Pushing with all the strength he could force into his two handed grip this hit the Knife, forcing it out of Davis’s hand and spinning across the ruins. Both of them spun around and as Harland came back around to face Davis’s he felt the bridge of his nose crack with assistance from Davis’s fist.

His eye’s blurring from the tears issuing from his eye’s, Harland took a step back and shook his head. Something hit him in the back of his knees and he fell to the ground, his claymore falling from his hand and clattering across the stones to land just out of reach. He rubbed his eye’s to clear the tears and looked up the length of Davis’s sword.

“Well met, Davis.” Harland said looking over to the referee. “I concede.” He said holding up his hands for assistance in standing up. Harland stood up, walked over to where his sword hand landed,picked up his sword and sheathed it, dusted himself off then held out his hand. “Go and win this, you have the family reputation to restore.”

Davis and Harland Shook hands and Davis watched Harland walked out of the ruins and down to the gate house now visible through the retreating fog.

 * * *

Out of sight of the main fighting area another lord stopped Harland. “Lord O’Connell?” Harland smiled at his apprentice. Colm had only held his title for a few years but was proving to be a strong fighter in tournaments. “He is Lord Swiftblades son, that much is true, he is very controlled with his attack’s and that makes him predictable, my young lord Colm Quaterstaff.”

“Will I beat him and end his trial?”

“No, work him hard but let him win, I wan’t to see that he does not end up in the same dishonourable position as his brother.”

“His Brother?” Colm asked, “I did not know he had a brother.”

“Do not worry about that, it was a long time before your trial, not many will speak off it and I ask you not to ask.”

“Yes my lord, I will do as you ask.” Colm said. “Are you going now?”

“I have something to do before the mission, I will be back in time for the ending ceremony.”

“I will see you later then, Lord O’Connel.” He said and watched as Harland raised the hood of his cape and made his way down and out of the castle in the direction of the castle.

Published in: on April 12, 2015 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Paradoxes of Defence by George Silvers.

For those who are interested in sword fighting here is another reference from 1599 to peruse and learn from.


Published in: on April 12, 2015 at 11:57 am  Comments (2)  
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Duel 2 delayed!

After reading back through my notes, last week I released the first duel in a series with the intent to continue posting the rest however, I realised that Duel two is in a very bad state so it has been delayed.
It’s half rewritten but half unfinished so will be late.

Published in: on April 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pumpkin Dragons now free on iTunes


After some fighting, Pumpkin Dragons is now free on iTunes.


Can you Lords and Ladies help get it free on Amazon please?


Published in: on April 10, 2015 at 6:20 am  Comments (5)  
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6 Things You Need To Edit Your Book

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

Scissors Truman Capote

Editing is my favourite part of writing. While I enjoy the free exploration and rush of creativity that comes with writing a first draft, it’s in the edit that I really earn my money. The edit can turn a promising idea into a great idea, can turn lumpen prose into gold. But in order to get the best out of editing, you need six important things.

1 Distance

Have you noticed how much easier it is to spot mistakes or areas for improvement in other people’s books? There’s a good reason for that. As a reader you’re coming to the story fresh, with no insight or foreknowledge of what’s taking place. You can only judge the book by it’s words. With your own book it’s very different. You know everything intimately, not just what is written but the back story, what you are trying to imply and what is left unsaid. You know…

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Published in: on April 9, 2015 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Davis and the Trail of the Sword Lords

Davis and the Trail of the Sword Lords
From the Diaries of James Purcell
Copyright James Purcell 2012
All rights reserved.

The combination of cold air from the coast mixed with the warm air around the hill Corfe Castle had been built on blanketed the area in fog resulting in the castle being the only visible structure. Not much existed of the old castle except for a few walls that had survived the attempt to blow it up. Davis Swiftblade looked up the path that lead from the surviving keep up to the castle gate, Davis was the latest in the swiftblade household to undertake the trail and was determined to undo the damage to his families reputation caused by his brother when he was discovered to be working with the resistance.

Taking a deep breath, he walked the path to the gate. The sixteen ruling lords were already in the ruins waiting for him and as he entered the gateway a sword flashed out causing him to stumble back out of its way. The sword crashed into the stone beside him and he realised that if he hadn’t ducked, he would have lost his head.

He drew his sword and his first opponent and owner of the sword stepped out from behind the wall to the side of the arch.

“Your the latest Swiftblade to enter the circle? I hope your not a disappointment like your brother was.” His first challanger said in a female voice.

She was small of stature and held her sword in a loose grip that allowed her to spin the sword by its hand guard.

“I hope your going to fight with everything you have otherwise this will be tough on you. This trial is about being the best of the best.” She said continuing to spin the sword, “Are you going to stand there all day or are you going to attack me?”

“Ladies first.” Davis said, bowing towards her.

She reached behind her back and pulled out a knife, “Oh, by the way, I know that your sword is actually two swords, honestly, the truth is that we all know that your sword is two swords. Your little secret was passed around, the minute one of us learnt about it.” She said with a smile. Her sword stops its swing at its apex at the same moment she launched her attack. She held her sword in a two handed grip with the blade pointed up. Just before there swords came together, she rotated it bringing it around in an upward direction. the sword came up under his defences and Davis was barely able to block the strike from hitting him. She pulled her sword back and stepped away ducking as his own sword came at her, aimed at her own neck height.

Guessing that she would try the same move again, he pulled out his own knife that lived in the swords scabbard, and just as she made her move, Davis pressed in with his own attack. His sword swung in an arch that impacted her sword with a jarring ring, but before he could think of pressing on with his attack, her knife shoot out. Davis ducked falling low to the ground, his own knife flashed out deflecting the strike and he rolled around coming back to his feet behind her.

As she turned, someone shouted enough, and she froze as her eye’s focused on Davis’s sword and knife crossed at her throat. She sheathed her weapons, turned on her heal and walked off down the path heading back towards the gate house. “Congratulation on your first win Davis, prove that your better then you traitorous brother.”

The mist that had surrounded the castle ruins had started to lift and as Davis Watch, shadowy objects started to be revealed, and with astonishment he realised he was looking out over a camp that had been set up in the valley below the castle.

Published in: on April 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm  Comments (1)  

The Monster of the Moors.


The Monster of the Moors.

This was supposed to be a project for a magazine but it failed to achieve what I wanted so I’m sharing this in it’s unfinished state.

On he ran, non stop running, earlier in the day he had run through the town killing soldiers who were attacking the town, but he was a wanted man and ran out of the town on a heading to a place he didn’t know.
He was covered in blood, but he couldn’t stop, villages and fields passed by in a blur, but on he ran. The night was drawing in now and even with the full moon above his strength was flagging. As he crested a hill tiredness overtook him and he tripped on a stone and crashed to the ground. He now realised how tired he now was and unable to draw even the smallest ounce of energy to move, he fell asleep, his face against the ground.

* * *

He woke up feeling cold with the early morning sun in his eyes. “Was that just a dream or did that really happen?” he thought to himself as he lifted his weary body into a sitting position, he put his arms through the sleeves and grabbing the edges of his wool travel robe, he pulled it tight around him. He looked at his hands and realised that they were human, how long has it been since he had seen them looking like this escaped in fractured memory, but now he knew why he was cold. He pulled the travel bag close to him and removing the rifle strapped to the top, checked it over with unknown expertise, placed it on the ground before opening the bag, pulled out the lightweight cotton robe that lay folded inside. He steeled him self from the cold and shed the woollen cloak and quickly pulled the cotton cloak on before pulling the woollen one back on. He looked around the ground and found a sword on the ground, he felt a pang of anger and grabbed the sword and strapped it around his waist under the woollen robe. As he reached down to grab his bad and rifle he noticed how badly scared his wrists were and the memory of the dark place where he had been kept in chains came back to him. He closed his eyes and forced the memory away before opening them to see where he was. He stood on top of a hill where very little grew apart from a low layer of broken and wild grass. He could see a few trees scattered around, but they were few and far between. As he looked around, he caught the scent of cooking and looked around. Of in the distance he caught sight of smoke and set off in that direction.
The sun had risen and warmed the air quickly, but he found it hard on his eyes so pulled up his robe hood as he entered the village. It didn’t take him long to find the village inn and taking a look around the village, opened the door and walked it.
“How can I help you fri…” someone started and must have looked around half way through his practiced speech to find him standing there.
“Ale and food!” he called out then made his way over to the bar and sat down on one of the many empty stools.
“Kitchen hasn’t started yet.”
“Have you got anything cold?”
The barman brought over a glass of ale and set it down in from of him. He pulled back his hood revealing his face and grabbing the mug, took a deep drink. “Have you got and meat and bread?” he asked the barman.
The Barman looked as if he had seen the dead risen, “you got any money to pay stranger?”
The stranger looked into the mirror behind the bar and realised how thin and frail he looked. How long has it been since he had seen this face, he couldn’t remember, but the scar down the side of his face stood out proud. He reached into his purse and pulled out a few coins planning them on the bar top, “How much?”
“That will be more than enough!” the barman said before disappearing into the kitchen.
“Do you Hunt, didn’t know members of the church used rifles” One of the other two men sat around the bar asked.
The stranger let out a short bark of a laugh, “I’m not a member of any church or monastery!”
“Yet you carry an expensive looking rifle?”
The stranger put a hand down on the rifle feeling some comfort. “I have lost a lot and this is all I have left.”
“Be a shame if someone took it from you then?”
The stranger scowled, “That won’t be happening.”
The bar man came out and placed a plate of bread, meat and cheese in front of me then shopping up the change walked over to the till.
“Change please barkeep!” the stranger said holding out a thin hand.
The barkeeper groaned and placed some of the coins back on the table. The door to the bar opened and the stranger heard a crowed walk in. “Have you heard of the killing in the villages between here and Bridgwater, They say an army of unknown soldiers has been spreading across the countryside.”
“What’s so interesting about that?” The barman shouted at the crowds leader.
“They also say that a monster has been appearing in the villages as well but killing off the soldiers and leaving the villagers un harmed.”
There was a brief silence that the stranger assumed meant that the group had spied him at the bar. The stranger pulled up his hood covering his face again and emptied the mug of ale and bang it on the bar top, “another please!” he asked and went back to eating.
“Don’t like people to see your face stranger?”
“I like my privacy!” the stranger replied finishing off his meal. The bar keeper brought the last drink over and the stranger drank it then stood up leaving the coins on the bar top. As the stranger turned away from the bar hoisting the bag onto his shoulder, he heard the barkeeper scoop up the coins. He headed across the common room and walked out the door.
Taking a look the small mini village with its timber framed cottages and stream running through the middle from the water mill, the stranger took a deep breath then headed back along the road he had entered the village from and headed back up to the hills. After a few miles he felt a presence behind him and stopped, “Why did you follow me from the village?” he said not turning around.
“That rifle is too good for you, give it to me along with all your money and valuables and I will let you live!”
“That will not be happening any time soon!” the stranger responded.
A blow to the back of the strangers head caused him to stumble forward a few steps, his eyesight blurred, but the damage was already rapidly healing. “You should walk away from me no if you want to live!”
“Were not leaving until we get what we came for stranger!’
The stranger could see red ringing the outside of his vision and could feel the heat of anger growing inside him. “I tried to warn you, if you wish to leave here with your life, leave me now!”
“Gimme your stuff!”
The stranger lowered his bag to the floor and removed the woollen cloak and sword hanging around his waist placing them on the bag. His vision continued to turn red and his turned to look his attacker in the eyes. There were wide with fear and he could see the failure person reflected in their terrified eye.
When he finally came back to his senses, the stranger was surrounded by the body’s of his would be attackers, but he was back in the body he had known for the last few months. There werewolf bent down, picked up the robe and pulled it back on, picked up the sword, refastened it around his waist and then grabbed his bag and set off over the hills.

* * *

He sat there shaking, the only member of the gang to still be alive, the only one to not have approached the stranger. He sat there his drink remain untouched, but getting spilled from the tremors in his hands. The door banged open and a group of soldiers entered causing the survivor to throw his drink over the bar.
“Where looking of this man!” One of the soldiers announced holding open a picture of a man.
“Who is he?” the bar keeper asked.
“This man is also know to travel in a robe, his name is James Purcell and he is wanted for the single handed killing of hundreds of soldiers!”

Published in: on March 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fully stalled!

Dunno why, but My brain has come to a grinding halt and I just don’t know what I am writing.
Writers block?
Nope, it as if the book has been deleted from my brain!

Published in: on March 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm  Comments (1)  

Dragon World: Dragon Hunt.

Dragon World: Dragon Hunt.

Originally Dragon Hunt started off as a short story about one point in James Purcell’s life, but after I published the story on Amazon I realised that something didn’t feel right about it,the whole point was to Introduce the Black and Silver dragons into the story line, but it didn’t quite fit the job.
I pulled the short out and started to research the background and realised that I hadn’t explained how they got there and why they really was there. I also had a few other questions also crop up, Why is the silver back fox around and how did the professor know that the dragons were here.
It’s hard to explain things without spoilers, but I believe that those who read the original may be surprised to connections growing in the backgrond and how a certain person keeps inserting herself into these stories in an attempt to turn the fate towards the prophecy of light.
Dragon Hunt is the first side novel to be set around the dragons, the next will be Dragon Rider but won’t be due till late 2016/early 2017

Published in: on March 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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