A gray-painted sky splashed over the dawning of a new day in Thurston. The ground was freshly minted with the first snow of winter, covering the results of the breathing, living fire that had eaten the majority of the orchard days prior. The sun and risen and set seven times since the flames had subsided, leaving charred land amidst seven living trees, most of which bore the dark marks of the orange beast. Rion had not yet been down to the orchard but from his spot atop the back wall of the castle, he confirmed seven trees remained from what once was a vibrant orchard teeming with plant life. The decision to burn his own land, at the time under attack and he in desperate need of an advantage, was what he thought to be best. Now, Rion was disappointed in knowing the orchard might not be full again in his lifetime.
A writing journey that began in April of 2018 finally reached its destination early in the morning of December 24, 2022. The final edits completed and the final touches brushed up, The Dragon Slayer was finally ready for release and quietly announced as such in my 2022 Christmas newsletter.
It was quite the 4.5 years since the release of The Blue Gem and the conclusion of the "Magic of Crieo" series with The Dragon Slayer. Yes, a novella was released in between but with a clear end game for the book already in mind, the fantasy novel's completion took me a wee longer than anticipated.
Focusing on this novel for much of 2022, a three-month stretch to close out the year brought the final words so cravingly sought: "The End". Late night sessions of tweaking pages, editing chapters, and searching out certain words I used a little too much comprised hours of my life as the year wound down.
And it was all worth it.
The stories of these characters and this fantasy world have lived with me since I first found a love for writing. A sense of accomplishment is present but there's also a bittersweet feeling crawling in my heart. It's always this way, a bit, when I complete a book (and, to a lesser extent, a stage play or screenplay. Those stories, however, I am always going back to and working on). But this time, with no immediate plans to continue the stories of this fantasy world, the finality hit a little harder.
Of course, time will tell if I return to these characters or find an entire new story to tell within this fantasy world. Until then, enjoy the epic conclusion in the "Magic of Crieo" series with The Dragon Slayer.
Sullen and defeated, the company that set out on an expedition to destroy the Blue Gem was scattered. One master lost and the other possibly the same at the base of the dam, Rukh and the others were desperate to find safety. Needed, too, were answers regarding the two talismans.
This meant finding the Dragon Slayer, the shattered sword whose pieces were carried by Driston. He was also out of sorts in the Valley of Lost Souls, desperately seeking to be reunited with his brother Willis.
Across the lands, allies in Crieo, Thurston, and Silist were under attack, with the armies of Alar threatening to disrupt peace. The Druid and his cohorts were in dogged pursuit of the Blue Gem and even greater magic in Crieo, willing to stop at nothing to obtain goals of absolute power.
Fighting powerful allies, elements of a harsh winter, and the strangeness of unknown lands, the survivors must band together to finish what Stelart started. They must figure out the true magic of the Dragon Slayer and the Blue Gem or risk evil gaining a stranglehold over the world never seen before.
The Dragon Slayer is available to purchase:
Hard cover: $25.99
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