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Trial by Dragons: The Warlock's Child Book Four

Trial by Dragons: The Warlock's Child Book Four

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Trial by Dragons: The Warlock's Child Book Four

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74 страницы
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18 мая 2016 г.


Two of Australia's successful fantasy writers, Paul Collins and Sean McMullen, collaborate on this action-packed fantasy series.
It's hard to save the world when you are in jail. Dantar and Velza, children of the warlock Calbaras, need to escape from jails six hundred miles apart to stop their father unleashing a catastrophically dangerous spell. Both will soon learn that they are not just special, they are also very dangerous.

18 мая 2016 г.

Об авторе

Paul Collins has written over 130 books and 140 short stories. He is best known for The Quentaris Chronicles, which he co-edits with Michael Pryor, The Jelindel Chronicles, The Earthborn Wars and The World of Grrym trilogy in collaboration with Danny Willis.Paul’s latest picture book is The Glasshouse, illustrated by Jo Thompson. Espionage space thriller, The Only Game in the Galaxy, the final exhilarating instalment of his YA series, The Maximus Black Files, was released in September 2013. Most recently he and Sean McMullen co-wrote the action-packed fantasy series, Warlock’s Child.Paul has been short-listed for many awards and won the Aurealis, William Atheling and the inaugural Peter McNamara awards. He has had two Notable Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.

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Trial by Dragons - Paul Collins


There were only seventeen dragons. This was not commonly known among humans, and the dragons wanted to keep it to themselves. In general, the dragons kept away from humans, occasionally flying high over a city to remind people that they existed, or diving out of the sky and flaming something as a reminder of how powerful they were.

The island of Dracondas was entirely the domain of dragons. The towns and cities had been in ruins for three thousand years, and the only humans who ever saw the place were occasional visitors to the port city of Wylver. One ship at a time was allowed to sail there, and from that ship, one visitor was allowed ashore. That visitor could go only to the great circular Plaza of Wings in front of the old palace, and some dragons might be present for a meeting. If not, the visitor had to leave in a hurry, for death was the penalty for being in Wylver after sunset.

What humans did not know was that dragons held courts and inquisitions at the Plaza of Wings. The plaza was ringed by twenty-seven immense statues of wyverns, winged reptiles of an unmagical type that had once been in the service of the Dracondas kings. These creatures had carried warriors of the air who fought battles among the clouds and were the terror of all other kingdoms. Then, in a single night, humans vanished from the island of Dracondas. Its new rulers, enormous, fire-breathing dragons, did not encourage visitors.

Eleven dragons sat perched on the statues of wyverns surrounding the Plaza of Wings. Once stone warriors had sat astride them, but these had been smashed off thirty centuries earlier, and they now lay broken, smothered in vines and bushes.

The female dragon Videnveld reared up on her wyvern statue and spread her wings for attention.

I am newly returned from the city of Merk,’ she announced. ‘I have discovered that human warlocks have been dabbling in the four magics. A dragon chick exists.’

Have you learned anything of the fate of Fernveld?’ asked the Dragon Inquisitor, who was perched on the palace roof because he presided over meetings.

Nothing,’ replied Videnveld, lowering her head.

But I suspect that Dravaud may have learned something before he died.’

Can you confirm that he died in an accident?

Stormvaud and I questioned the Savarian king on this, and there was no guile in his account.’

The dragons hunched down and thought about what had been said. In a sense the meeting was being conducted in silence, for the dragons spoke with their thoughts. Any humans nearby could hear those thoughts, but the nearest humans were three hundred miles away, on a fleet travelling between Savaria and the island of Morticas. They were definitely out of range.

The Dragon Inquisitor spread his wings for attention.

In the eighteen years past we have lost two of our number, one vanished and the other dead. From nineteen, we have been reduced to seventeen, yet now there has been a birth, the first such birth for three thousand years.’

A dragon named Lashveld spread her wings.

Sister Videnveld, why did you not pluck the dragon chick out of the human city and bring it here?

Have you forgotten our origins, sister?’ asked Videnveld. ‘Over three thousand years ago the warlock kings of this island created us from their tame wyverns. For three and a half centuries they created us, one dragon every thirteen years, immortals, hatched to live in slavery forever. When we broke free of our bonds and slaughtered every human on the island, we killed our creators as well. Humans made the original twenty-seven dragons, but only after we freed ourselves did we realise that they created us sterile. We lay eggs, but they never hatch. Slowly, through accidents and combat, our numbers have fallen, yet now there is a dragon chick. It seems that humans have rediscovered the art of creating dragons.’

Again there was spreading of wings and exchanges of glances.

Do we have names?’ asked the Inquisitor.

The warlocks Calbaras and Torvoran are known to have experimented with the four magics,’ said Grimvaud.

They think that we do not know.’ 

Why have they not been burned to ash?’ asked Lashveld.

Because we have been tolerating them, sister. Humans created us, humans may create us again.’

Brother Grimvaud, this is a dangerous situation,’ said the Inquisitor. ‘If warlocks have indeed rediscovered the arts of creating dragons, they will have unimaginable power. They could create and raise those chicks as our enemies.

If they know that we are sterile, the warlocks can force us to perform services for them, in return for dragon chicks,’ said Grimvaud.

Do they know this?’ asked Stormvaud.

If they do, we can expect them to send a demand,’ said the Inquisitor. ‘Videnveld, return to the dragon chick, study it at a distance. If you learn who created it, protect that warlock as closely as you guard the chick.


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