Read the full 4 Star review for Tova's Dragon at You Gotta Read!
Length: Novella (20k words)
Buy Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/TovasDragon.html
Also available from All Romance eBooks and Amazon Kindle Store
Once upon a time, in the land of Velosia, lived a young earth mage. Tova, for that was her name, dwelt in harmony with the plants of the fields and the animals of the earth. She felt vibrations in the earth and heard whispers on the wind, basked in the sun and gloried in the rain.
There was but one element that disturbed her. Whene'er storm clouds gathered and thunder rumbled in the distance, she trembled in dread. And when light flashed in the sky, she hid, for the lightning seemed to follow her every movement. The air crackled around and through her, and in her heart, she feared one day it would strike her dead, as it had her father.
In this time also appeared the Outlaw Kane, last of the dragonlords of Velosia, a man-beast who changed shape at will. Back from exile, he bided his time in his aerie high in the mountains, until the day Tova came seeking his help.
And so begins the tale of the Lightning Maiden and the Outlawed Dragon.
* * *
Seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg. Only he can aid you. You must fly with the dragon.
Her grandmother’s words rang in Tova’s head as she climbed the path into the mountains. Why had Mutti Zee sent her on a fool’s errand? Everyone knew the dragonfolk had abandoned Velosia years ago, driven away by Bruno of Grimmdorn’s crusade against them. Until he was accused of putting the king and queen under an enchantment and forced to flee. Now Bruno was back at the head of a mercenary army, if Mutti Zee’s vision was correct. And Tova knew it was. She’d felt the vibrations in the earth.
And somehow it was up to her to save the kingdom.
Stopping to rest her tired legs, she gazed at the path ahead. It grew steeper and narrower the higher it wound into the mountains. She was glad she’d worn men’s breeches and a tunic with her sturdy boots. A gown and petticoats would be but a hindrance.
She raised her gaze to the sky. “Why me? I’m no hero.” But there was no answer, just clouds forming to her left. She shook her head. Now she was talking to herself, like mad Magnus, the village idiot.
Turning back to the path, she started climbing again. The castle was visible now, high on a cliff, its turrets silhouetted against the sky. For centuries, the dragon lords had resided in the castle, ruling the isolated mountain communities. People in those areas were known as dragonfolk, though Tova knew not why. True, dragon motifs decorated the doorframes of their houses, and rumor had it they worshipped some kind of serpent god.
Over the years, many travelers through the mountains had claimed to see large winged creatures flying in the sky at sunrise, and others swore they’d seen men and women change shape and fly into the night. Old wives tales, no doubt. On the rare occasions she’d seen the dragonfolk, they’d looked much like everyone else. But they kept apart, and visitors to the area were discouraged. It was all a great puzzle, but one she had no time to ponder. Too much was at stake and her chances of reaching Castle Novita in time to warn the king were slim at best.
A shadow blocked the sun, and she looked up to see an enormous bird silhouetted against the sky. Goddess, she’d never seen such a large raptor. It turned and the sun’s rays glinted on its shiny red-gold wings and barbed tail. Halting, she stared after it, shaken to the core of her being.
No, it couldn't be. There was no such thing as dragons.
Linda w/a Lyndi Lamont
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